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

What Is DNF Package Manager And How To Use It

​A package file is an archive which contains the binaries and other resources that make software and the pre and post installation scripts. They also provide the information regarding dependencies and other packages required for the installation and running of the software. Read
more

FSFE: ‘German public sector a digital laggard’

With their lacklustre approach to free software, German public services remain behind other European member states, says the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). When asked, the current governing parties’ say they support free software, but their statements are contradicted by the lack of action, the advocacy group says. In early September, the FSFE published its analysis of the free software policies put forward by the main political parties on the ballot, in preparation for Germany’s parliamentary elections on 24 September. This analysis (in German) is far more detailed than an earlier report generated by the Digital-O-Mat, a web portal set up to focus on political parties’ positions on 12 digital topics. Read more New release: ISA² interoperability test bed software v1.1.0

PocketBeagle: An Ultra-tiny, Open-source, Linux-powered Development Board

BeagleBoard.org has revealed its latest development board named PocketBeagle. It’s an ultra-tiny and open source USB-key-fob computer that’s crafted for DIYers, hobbyists, and educators. PocketBeagle is based on Octavo Systems OSD3358-SM 21mm x 21mm system-in-package, which gives it 512MB DDR3 RAM, 1-GHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU, and 2x 200-MHz PRUs. It comes with integrated power/battery management as well. Read more

Security: SEC Breach, DNSSEC, FinFisher, CCleaner and CIA