Objective of IFSO Re: [Fsfe-ie] stuff from the past week [adelaney at cs.may.ie]

David Golden david at oldr.net
Fri Oct 31 21:23:49 CET 2003

On Fri 31 Oct 2003 19:18, Philip Reynolds wrote:

> The term "open source" is ambiguous enough, because one could
> believe that the source is completely open and viewable to anybody
> or the source is open for the intended recipient (i.e.  the
> purchaser).

"Open Source" (note capitals) is quite well defined by the OSI Definition or 
DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidlines), at this stage, despite Microsoftie 
attempts to dilute the term.  

* Open Source Initiative, not the Ottowa Swine Institute...

> Obviously in the case of a commercial entity trying to sell the
> software, the latter is the intended meaning.
> Is the latter really proprietary software?

Yes.  It was always called source-available-proprietary (SAP) back in my day 
among computer-literate engineers, it was  a common way of shipping 
computational fluid dynamics or finite element analysis codes for compilation 
on high-end unix, for example.

Note also that legally speaking, it is becoming quite important to be clear 
that GPL software is proprietary too - it is "owned" by the copyright holder 
and licensed under the GPL, so it still has a proprietor.  It is emphatically 
not "Public Domain", despite SCO's incoherent rantings.  

Saying it is non-proprietary might still give roughly the right impression to 
programmers and most normal humans, but it is entirely the wrong idea to give 
to lawyers.

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