Licencing

Jay Bennie jay at lincore.com
Fri Dec 21 03:32:28 PST 2001


Yet again the issue of licensing comes up....

And again we should weight up the options and clarify the route that is
taken.

Here are my initial opinions
The XML DTD -- these would be best served by the GPL - this way different
builders/parsers are encouraged to use the same syntax, hence preserving
portability and achieving the main goal of all the hard work - creating a
common, well defined source package and build sequence description.

The parser applications -- Each of these is free to go it's own way re
licensing, however if the different parsers eventually merge, I agree that
the BSD or Apache style licence's are the way to go.

{  It is important to licence the code, just leaving it free - is waiting
for it to be abused. Saying that most people operate on a principle of trust
at the moment which is great but to quote Henry Kissenger - Soviet vs. US
arms discussion, "trust but, verify", have a licence which protects your
interests, and allows you to reduce these restrictions as appropriate, not
the other way around. This way you can choose to enforce a rule if the need
arises and leaves you free to do anything you like in the mean time. }

Using BSD or Apache licences -- This way if a company wishes to provide a
commercial service based on the public software, any value added code would
be protected. This is really important because these companies can then
justify spending money to improve the code in the public domain thread of
the software.

I firmly believe that most companies who operate in the opensource domain
what to help promote opensource software, but can only do so if their is a
modest route to making a little money. It should also be remembered that the
public thread can only benefit from their involvement (if their was no
benefit, the status quo is maintained and there is only the public thread)


Jay

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