Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open-Source Referees Change the Rules

Filed under
OSS

The Open Source Initiative board on Wednesday adopted a new way of approving open-source licenses, as well as a new classification system for existing licensees, at its meeting at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco.

The OSI (Open Source Initiative) is the organization that approves open-source licenses. While its blessing is not necessary in any legalistic way, few if any companies or developers would use a so-called open-source license without the OSI's blessing.

"License proliferation has become a significant barrier to open-source deployment," the group declares in its "License Proliferation" document, a copy of which was obtained by eWEEK.com prior to its publication.

From now on, the group says, "Approved licenses must meet three new criteria of being a) nonduplicative, Cool clear and understandable, and c) reusable."

Additionally, the Open Source Initiative says it "will be moving to a three-tier system in which licenses are classified as preferred, approved or deprecated."

"The class of asymmetrical, corporate licenses that began with Mozilla was a worthy experiment that has failed. The new policy will discourage them," the group says.

Many companies, such as Sun Microsystems Inc. with its controversial CDDL (Common Development and Distribution License), have used the Mozilla license to create their own. Critics have pointed out, and Sun admits, that the CDDL is not compatible with the GPL (GNU General Public License), which is the legal foundation of Linux and many other major open-source projects.

To prevent this kind of conflict between licenses, the group is explicitly stating that one of the new policy's goals "will be to promote unrestricted reusability of code."

But the OSI board will not be making the call on its own on which new licenses will be approved. The group "has designed a public-comment process to include community stakeholders in grading licenses."

The organization is still working on the details of exactly how this process will work, according to sources close to the board.

The board is also now publicly agreeing with what many of its members-as well as the software development community-have charged for some time: that there are already too many open-source licenses.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Android N’s navigation buttons could get a face-lift

New Zealand vs Wales Live Streaming

Android Leftovers

IT runs on the cloud, and the cloud runs on Linux. Any questions?

A recent survey by the Uptime Institute of 1,000 IT executives found that 50 percent of senior enterprise IT executives expect the majority of IT workloads to reside off-premise in cloud or colocation sites in the future. Of those surveyed, 23 percent expect the shift to happen next year, and 70 percent expect that shift to occur within the next four years. Read more

Security Leftovers

  • Teardrop Attack: What Is It And How Does It Work?
    In Teardrop Attack, fragmented packets that are sent in the to the target machine, are buggy in nature and the victim’s machine is unable to reassemble those packets due to the bug in the TCP/IP fragmentation.
  • Updating code can mean fewer security headaches
    Organizations with high rates of code deployments spend half as much time fixing security issues as organizations without such frequent code updates, according to a newly released study. In its latest annual state-of-the-developer report, Devops software provider Puppet found that by better integrating security objectives into daily work, teams in "high-performing organizations" build more secure systems. The report, which surveyed 4,600 technical professionals worldwide, defines high IT performers as offering on-demand, multiple code deploys per day, with lead times for changes of less than one hour. Puppet has been publishing its annual report for five years.
  • Over half of world's top domains weak against email spoofing
    Over half of the world's most popular online services have misconfigured servers which could place users at risk from spoof emails, researchers have warned. According to Swedish cybersecurity firm Detectify, poor authentication processes and configuration settings in servers belonging to hundreds of major online domains are could put users at risk of legitimate-looking phishing campaigns and fraudulent emails.