| From: Ciaran O'Riordan <ciaran at fsfe.org>
| Date: 13 Jul 2007 15:06:14 +0100
| Brian Foster <blf at utvinternet.ie> writes:
| > I've no idea what this is about (i.e., why they
| > are proposing/discussing any such thing).
| > whatever, this may be interest to some ....
| A discussion on the fsfe-uk list may have uncovered the reasons:
|[ ... ] And the suggested benefits of this new licence are:
| "The BCS stands to benefit from the BSL in a number of ways. [ ... ]
| * The BSL license process will generate a revenue [sic] to help pay
| for the maintenance of databases. [ ... ]
| After eighteen months of working on GPLv3, I can tell them that
| licence drafting processes do not generate revenue.
I don't read those meeting minutes as talking about
revenue from “license DRAFTING processes” (emphasis
added), but from an “license [ASSURANCE] process”.
this hypothetical assurance process is summarised in
that document as (in part):
BCS will maintain a database of BSL licenses with public access.
There is a need for software assurance of Open Source software.
As the Open Source ecosystem becomes more mature and the code
base expands more and more government and commercial projects
face a choice of whether or not to adopt Open Source code and
products into their systems. The BCS has the rightful duty to
provide a software assurance service to assist in this adoption.
The service will comprise of a number of elements; including
but not limited to 1) provenance checks, 2) patents checks,
3) BSL licence checks. It is envisaged that use of the BCS
software assurance service can be mandated on government
procurement tenders, and encouraged on commercial tenders.”
in other words, the idea is to get the governments in
the UK to require (mandate) that FLOSS they (at least)
use be BSL-licensed. this hypothecial _mandatory_ BSL
license can be obtained only be paying the BCS a fee;
in return, the BCS assures (e.g.) there is no patent
(N.b., following quote moved out-of-position.)
|[ ... ] I know guys in the BCS OSSG that are fairly clued in
| about free software, so I guess this just hasn't been discussed
| seriously or widely enough internally yet.
I've only met small number of (known) BCS OSSG people,
and came away with a very mixed impression. but then,
we weren't talking about licensing .... I'd like to
believe yer right, this is just a wild idea that will
be stomped on fairly quickly (for multiple reasons,
and at multiple levels, I suspect).
incidently, the EC PDF document referred to yesterday
specifically talks about an OSL-like license using
EU (not (or in addition to?) USAian) legal terms, with
both English and Français translations (at least) having
( AFAICR, there is no mention of any issue with running
FLOSS software in that document, albeit some of the
other concerns in the above meeting minutes are
discussed. AFAICR, most(?) are small differences
in the (legal) meaning of key(?) terms. )
anyways, one of the (multiple) rationales for _that_
idea (an EU license) — and I've no idea if it's gone
anywhere — is to preclude (more-)localised licenses;
i.e., to try and preclude things like this hypothetical
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