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I don't really want to debate with you here, and if anything I feel like the points you are hammering on just fortify my stance that this topic is a waste of breath.

> The OSI is merely pointing out that it will make everyone's lives easier if developers try their best to use one of the licenses that already exists

Maybe, maybe not! Perhaps existing licenses are not sufficient. I doubt we'll be using the same licenses in 100 years. I bet there are better licenses waiting to be authored -- maybe TFA's license is the future?

> > The OSI includes GPLv3, which is certainly not "free" for a ton of commercial uses. > > Incorrect. Commercial customers are free to use, modify, and redistribute just like everyone else. They can even sell a product based on it - they just can't keep any changes they might make closed source if they do so.

Look, I live in the real world. If I link to a GPLv3 library in my product, I have to release all of my source code. This is potentially a pretty big burden on a lot of folks. Sure, there's a lot of legal FUD, but unfortunately, while FUD, has a very real impact. Lawyers won't sign off on a lot of this stuff.

> Take a look at some of the approved licenses - for example AGPL, GPL, MPL, and MIT. In _all_ cases I'm free to modify and redistribute. In some cases I might be required to make my changes available, but never am I barred from making use as I see fit. Source available is simply not the same thing.

AGPL is defacto banned at most companies, such as Google, which has this to say[0]:

> The license places restrictions on software used over a network which are extremely difficult for Google to comply with. Using AGPL software requires that anything it links to must also be licensed under the AGPL. Even if you think you aren’t linking to anything important, it still presents a huge risk to Google because of how integrated much of our code is. The risks heavily outweigh the benefits.

Gee, that sure sounds "open" to me.

Grouping AGPL and MIT in the same bucket is borderline harmful -- they're wildly different! This is what I mean when I say the term "open source" is a fuzzy descriptor. You can't have a fuzzy descriptor and then complain about things which don't fit your worldview. That's what the OSI basically does in a nutshell with their "Open Source Definition".

> It is _not_ subjective, but convincing others that it is can sometimes confer monetary benefits. This is precisely why such pedantry exists in great quantity surrounding the topic.

I agree we shouldn't accept anyone abusing the term for profit. At the same time, I don't think it's appropriate to conflate themes of "encumbered" or "burdensome" or "infectious" with the word "open" -- that is just as misleading and confers a different set of benefits that are not universally appreciated.

And one final thing: Just because I disagree with OSI's terminology doesn't make me incorrect. Statements like that come off as abrasive and trend towards a hostile, gatekeeping tone. The term you're looking for is "I disagree". It's easy to interpret your worldview as very small. If I polled a group of random software developers about what open source meant to them, I would be surprised if any of them referenced the OSI definition. Most developers would, sadly, conclude "stuff on github".

[0]: https://opensource.google/docs/using/agpl-policy/






You say you don't want to debate here, but from my perspective you're actively spreading misinformation and FUD.

I agree that there might be better possible licenses out there - you might notice that I described the set of possible open source licenses as being infinitely large! The point is that you should go with an existing license for the good of the community unless you run into a limitation for your particular usecase that isn't adequately addressed.

Note that this has happened before! It's how the MPL (non-viral) and AGPL (anti proprietary SaaS) came about for example.

The one thing they all have in common is that they protect the user's right to modify and redistribute the software they receive. Yes, that necessarily places some limits on things in order to disallow abridging such rights for downstream users.

Moreover, there is indeed a balance between the degree to which such rights are preserved versus the number of restrictions the license must impose in order to accomplish its purpose. This is why a range from copyleft to permissive exists, with the MPL squarely in the middle. The presence of such nuance doesn't make the definition fuzzy or unclear though - there is a consistent protection of user freedom throughout, with restrictions existing only to further this goal. (Compare this to source available licenses, which carry additional restrictions unrelated to preserving user freedom.)

> Grouping AGPL and MIT in the same bucket is borderline harmful -- they're wildly different! This is what I mean when I say the term "open source" is a fuzzy descriptor. You can't have a fuzzy descriptor and then complain about things which don't fit your worldview. That's what the OSI basically does in a nutshell with their "Open Source Definition".

Again, this is a factually incorrect statement. You are verifiably and demonstrably wrong here. The definition of open source is consistent, and all of those licenses fit it. Source available licenses, on the other hand, do not.

You mention a bunch of objections you (and others) have to AGPL, GPL, etc. That's fine, and those licenses may not be right for you, but that doesn't somehow make them "not open source". Trying to shoehorn in some other definition by claiming that having issues for you or someone else makes them "not open" isn't a valid line of argument. The meaning of the term is very well established at this point and you are misusing it.

I realize you have (apparently) an ideological axe to grind against viral licenses. I don't particularly like them either, but that doesn't magically change the definition of an established term.

> The term you're looking for is "I disagree".

No, I used precisely the term I was looking for when I said that you were incorrect. It is true that I disagree with all of your following statements as a result though! You might legitimately hold that the term "open source" has a different definition than the one I use, but (as you might have gathered from what I wrote) I'm not even remotely convinced. In fact I made it clear that I hold such views to be ignorant, and that I believe you have fundamentally misunderstood the entire point of the open source movement. I can see how such a view might come off as abrasive, but that doesn't change it.




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