SourceForge and CreativeCommons

Greg London email at
Fri Jun 4 12:21:49 EDT 2004

My memory tells me I read it about a year or so ago, but I dont
know how old the website was when I read it, so the
actual licensing event might have been earlier.

I >think< I read it on the OSI website, but I'm not sure.

I poked around a little bit, but gave up, since a
simple google search is impossible with no specific
keywords to look for.

I believe that the current OSD might allow
CC-style attribution, but I believe that if
pushed, OSI would ammend the OSD to exclude it.
The fact that the BSD license dropped its
advertising clause seems to indicate the direction
of what is "Open Source".

Attribution is a Market Economy clause, not a gift economy.
Creative Commons is more about using licenses to leverage
market economy works, free advertising, or free samples,
and then pay to get a commercial license. So I'm not
surprised the CC decided to roll attribution into all
its licenses and have them "on" by default.

A gift economy would be hindered by attribution.
Imagine a barn-raising that comes with the requirement
that you must forever leave one of those annoying signs
in your front yard saying "Construction by " followed by
a laundry list of every carpenter who so much as put a
nail in the barn.

A "gift" is given without restriction.

The only restrictions that Open Source carries
are the ones that allow a gift economy to protect
itself from market pressures.

Any other restrictions (non commercial, edu only,
advertising clause) have been tried by software
projects but have been dropped from what fits
the defintion of Open Source.

You do have to keep copyright notices, licenses,
and warranty disclaimers in place in the source
code itself, but the workings of the actual
software is totally open to being modified.

What I remember of the web-hosting software thing
was that basically they wanted to put a restriction
on the actual code saying that no one could ever
modify the chunk of code that inserted the link
into every webpage it hosted.

They were allowed to leave in the code that inserted
the links, but they could not use the license to
restrict anyone from removing or changing the code,
or if they did change it, they must somehow preserve
the insertion of the link.

No one is allowed to have invariant sections in
the actual source code of an Open Source program.

But that would be what you would do if you required
attribution the way creative commons does it.

Evan Prodromou said:
>>>>>> "GL" == Greg London <email at> writes:
>     GL> I vaguely recall a situation a while back where someone wanted
>     GL> to license their web software under an OSI license with the
>     GL> requirement that all websites that use their software keep
>     GL> intact a link to the author's website. [...] The idea was shot
>     GL> down. And the software had to drop the attribution requirement
>     GL> to get "OSI-Certified" on their distribution.
> It'd be great to see some more info on this -- I find it hard to
> believe. Can you try and find some links?
> ~ESP
> P.S. It'd be a lot easier to engage in conversations with you if you
> didn't put that Reply-To: header with a fake email address in it in
> every one of your messages. It is really, really annoying to deal
> with, a misuse of Reply-To, and an unfair imposition on your
> correspondents.

have been doing it for years. this is the first complaint I've gotten.
I suppose its pretty much mute anyway as a spam-prevention device.
My spam filtering on ultra-aggressive and about 15 to 30 spam mails
still get through every day.

"Impatient Perl" => Perl geek in about a week.
Available in GNU-FDL, HTML, PDF, and paperback.

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