[TAG] (forw) Re: The "Exhibit B" issue and OSI: today's mailing list discussion
rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Jan 2 21:40:05 MSK 2007
----- Forwarded message from Nick Goodman <ngoodman at bayontechnologies.com> -----
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2007 07:51:14 -0800
From: Nick Goodman <ngoodman at bayontechnologies.com>
To: TAG <tag at lists.linuxgazette.net>
To: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
Subject: Re: [TAG] The "Exhibit B" issue and OSI: today's mailing list discussion
Thanks for that. I'm headed out for a two month walkabout and will be
absent from this discussion for a while. Fight the good fight and
I'll check back in a couple of months.
On 1/2/07, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
>[Nicholas, I'm CCing you on a mailing list thread among the Linux
>Gazette magazine staff. My article was published at:
>Quoting Benjamin A. Okopnik (ben at linuxgazette.net):
>> On Sat, Dec 30, 2006 at 12:29:07AM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
>> > The mini-thread that follows is not the only discussion that's occurred:
>> > It's been ongoing for about two months, but until recently I think few
>> > people had realised the scope of this snow-job. So, I decided to clear
>> > the air.
>> If you feel like sliding this one into your article, well, you're a
>> "trusted user" on this system. :)
>> > In his responses (below) where he clearly is trying to spin the
>> > situation, CEO Ross Mayfield, like a few other interested parties who
>> > have profoundly failed to impress me with any display of candour,
>> > perhaps might not grasp that techies tend to take it personally when
>> > flacks and others try to con them.
>> [ From your response to Ross Mayfield ]
>> > Thank you for doing that, retroactively. Your edit appears to have been
>> > implemented _within the past hour_, I will note.
>> I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read that; computer screens
>> are vulnerable to damage from nasally-ejected liquids. Egads... this is
>> supposed to be somebody who deals with technology as their core
>> business. And people mumble about "retraining the average user"???
>Ross is said to be one of the _good_ guys in this picture; I've been
>getting vibes, both overt and indirect, that OSI would like me to go easy
>on him. Unlike all the other "Exhibit B" firms' guys, including the one
>who's now on OSI's Board, Ross has actually taken the trouble to put a
>licence proposal of sorts in front of OSI, and I'm guessing he means
>well -- by his lights.
>My guess is that there has been a bunch of behind-the-scenes coaxing,
>attempting to avert a confrontation between OSI and this growing market
>segment of insurgents who're abusing the heck out of the notion of "open
>source" and are fully aware of doing so. OSI doesn't actually have a
>lot of strength other than moral suasion, no assets, no professional
>staff, a strong interest in avoiding conflicts that can be reasonably
>Also, it's undeniable that the "ASP loophole" is a real problem, and
>that there's nothing wrong per se with "attribution" generically as a
>concept -- as opposed to the particular over-the-top solution they're
>all currently using of a mandatory logo on every page. OSI (and maybe
>Ross) probably hopes that something reasonable can be found that
>satisfies the "Exhibit B" companies' desire for recognition, while at
>the same time not grossly violating OSD#10 (technological neutrality),
>#6 (freedom to use in any field of endeavour, including commerce), and
>#3 (freedom to create derivative works).
>Highly perceptive critic Nicholas Goodman, by the way, thinks people
>like me aren't cynical enough, and that the "Exhibit B" companies
>absolutely _do_ want to impair commercial use.
>If so, OSI yielding substantively on that point would be a huge mistake,
>as the biggest threats to open source have always been people wanting to
>use the open source community as a free-of-charge development and PR
>house while reserving commercial rights to themselves. I hope OSI
>doesn't cut any such deal.
>At the same time, having a bloc of high-profile (even if economically
>paper-thin) firms prominently calling themselves open source while using
>non-conforming licences -- the situation we have today -- is almost as
>Goodman fears that continuing conflict will cause "a fork in open
>source". By contrast, I think SugarCRM, Socialtext, et al. left us long
>ago, but want to pretend they haven't, for business / PR reasons.
>I'm trying to not act on my gut-level reaction to the line of con-job
>rhetoric evinced throughout this discussion by Matt Asay of Alfresco
>(and OSI Board member) in his articles and blog, John Roberts of
>Socialtext on his GAP information (advocacy) page, and Ross Mayfield
>in some of his replies to me and others. I suspect they're accustomed
>to playing deceptive spin games with published information and not
>having anyone dare (or bother) to call them on it, let alone take
>offence. That's a typical CEO / VP trait, I notice.
>Anyhow, once the fog of lies and distortions blows away, all the really
>matters in the end is code and licensing, licensing and code. So far,
>these firms' licensing simply sucks, so I say the rational response is
>to make crystal clear that they've defined themselves outside our
>community. If they later want to rejoin it, that's up to them, not us.
>There remains also one other bit of unfinished business: the malign
>role of OSI General Counsel Mark Radcliffe, docmented only by the
>amazingly effective David Berlind of ZDnet:
>http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=4124 The whole situation is pretty
----- End forwarded message -----
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