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"formally". They're using weasel words to pretend it's still 'open-source', but that they just can't technically call it that. And later-on in the article they say this:

> It’s a brave new world, but we believe this licensing change will best ensure the future of Sentry and that protections-oriented OSS licenses like the BSL will become increasingly common as time goes on.

"protections-oriented OSS licenses like the BSL" - I guess they can't call it an "Open-Source license", but calling it an "Open-Source Software license" is ok? Are they supposed to mean different things?




I don't think it's weasel words. They're just acknowledging that the OSI doesn't recognize the BSL as an Open-Source license, but the source is still open in the literal sense. Not only that, but most of the things associated with code being open source are still true: you can inspect, modify and use the code as you can with any OSS, the only things you can't do is commercialize or redistribute it.


I would argue it's weasel words because they're implying it's "really" an open-source license and OSI is wrong. And later on they directly call it an OSS license, directly in conflict with a few paragraphs ago when they say it's "formally" not an open-source license.

> you can inspect, modify and use the code as you can with any OSS, the only things you can't do is commercialize or redistribute it.

That depends on your definition of "use". IMO this is like the the opposite of the GPL and it creates a licensing mess. If I find a piece of code in Sentry that I would like to use in a separate project, that project now has to be licensed under the BSL and subject to those terms unless I can prove I pulled it from some version of the source from however many years ago. And if there's bug fixes to that code, I can't use those bug fixes until the change date expires for those bug fixes. And depending on what license my project currently is, determining if I can even "relicense" as BSL is messy. The end result being that nobody is going to want to use that code in their own projects, and if they do they're likely walking into a licensing mess which they may not even realize.

And that's half the point right? They're happy to take community contributions, but they don't want people using their code. Which, sure, I work for a company that sells software, I'm not against that. But in my view that's not "open source".


It's definitely weasel words. Open Source has a definition. The source may be publicly viewable, but that isn't "open". It's still closed, and it being viewable is actively harmful, as it'll lead to copyright violations sneaking into other projects.


Yea I understand that there's a technical definition that it falls short of, but again they're very explicitly noting that it falls short of that, so I don't see how it's being ambiguous or misleading. And I don't buy that it's not "open" - it's out there in the public; it's open for contribution from the public; it's open to be modified and deployed except if you're a monitoring provider. The OSI doesn't have a monopoly on the definition of the word "open".

Also I think that the assertion that it's "actively harmful" is wildly hyperbolic. Sentry isn't going to be out there copyright trolling people and you know it; they're trying to protect themselves from a very specific category of IP infringement. And there is still much potential upside to it's openness that you're willfully ignoring.




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