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Posts tagged as “software licenses”

Should the Fair License Replace the GPL?

It seems to us that enterprises have adopted “permissive” licenses because they see them as a way to “have their cake and eat it too.”

fair license gpl

Roblimo’s Hideaway

The GPL has many good points, as well as restrictions that make it unappealing to many commercial software producers and users. Plus, over the years, it has accumulated tons of political baggage only marginally related to its utility as a software license. So should we consider the Fair License as a possible replacement? And, whether we like it or not, are permissive licenses — like the Fair License, BSD License, and MIT License taking over anyway?

Should the U.S. Army Have Its Own Open Source License?

Should the U.S. armed forces begin releasing software under an OSI approved open source license rather than as public domain?

Roblimo’s Hideaway

Army software open source license

This question has generated many pixels’ worth of traffic on the OSI License discuss email list. This post is just a brief summary of a little of the discussion, which has been going on for some weeks and shows no sign of slowing down.

There are currently 80 Open Sourse Initiative-approved open source licenses. It’s nice that the Army (I’m a veteran) wants to not only write software licensed as open source, but OSI-approved open source software. (Go Army!)

But does the Army really need its own special OS license? Should the Air Force have a different one? Will the Navy want a Coastal Combat Open Source License, along with a separate Blue Water Open Source License? That might sound far-fetched, but Mozilla has three separate open source licenses, Microsoft has two, and Canada’s province of Québec also has three. So why shouldn’t the U.S. Department of Defense have a whole slew of open source licenses?

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat,, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

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