OT: "proprietary" software

Gilles Gravier ggravier at fsfe.org
Mon Jun 1 10:14:56 UTC 2009


Chris Mohler wrote:
> On Sun, May 31, 2009 at 3:31 PM, Karl F. Larsen <klarsen1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Markus Schönhaber wrote:
>>> Piper:
>>>> comparative observations on Thunderbird? It is proprietary SW so am not
>>>> considering it but I am curious
>>> Thunderbird is proprietary software and you are therefore not using it?
>>> That is an interesting statement for someone who is using a mail client
>>> identifying itself as "Microsoft Outlook Express" to send this very
>>> statement
>>    As said before, Thunderbird is made by the same people who make
>> Firefox. Both are made for Linux and Windows up to the latest model. It
>> is free and you download it from a web page and it is licensed under the
>> GNU standard. So please go away.
> FF and Thunderbird are both licensed under the MPL (Mozilla Public
> License) - not GPL.
So? What's the point you are making here?

Both GPL and MPL are OSI approved licenses
(http://www.opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical). Which mean both
qualify as "open source" licenses.

They just impose different things on the developer. Which means a
developer picks one or another depending on his target population of
users (developers themselves, or end-users like most of us on this
list). One isn't "better" than the other. One isn't more "open source"
than the other. They are both open source licenses. They both satisfy
the 10 criteria of open source licenses:

      1. Free Redistribution

The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the
software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing
programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a
royalty or other fee for such sale.

      2. Source Code

The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in
source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is
not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means
of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction
cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source
code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the
program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed.
Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator
are not allowed.

      3. Derived Works

The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow
them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the
original software.

      4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code

The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified
form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with
the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time.
The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from
modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a
different name or version number from the original software.

      5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

      6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a
specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program
from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

      7. Distribution of License

The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program
is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license
by those parties.

      8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product

The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's
being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is
extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the
terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is
redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in
conjunction with the original software distribution.

      9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software

The license must not place restrictions on other software that is
distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license
must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium
must be open-source software.

      10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral

No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual
technology or style of interface.


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