25 October 2007

"Open Source Does Not Mean Free": Huh?

Here's an interesting little to do:

Open Source does not mean Free: Why we are declaring a license for the community database


Very shortly you will notice an important change to our GPLv3 Resource site [at http://gpl3.palamida.com/]. This week's events have led to the decision to add a Creative Commons License (CCL) to the site to ensure that recent blatant plagiarism of our database contents by a newly launched GPLv3 site will be duly credited and/or cease. After two days of intense investigation, we have confirmed that most of our database has been copied directly – word for word and misspelling for misspelling, with very few original additions to our initial work. We feel that that this secondary site does a disservice to the open source community that has for many months diligently contributed data to our database, assisted in correcting discrepancies, and supported the accurate and timely tracking of GPLv2 and v3 conversations and conversions. It has always been the aim of Palamida to run our Resource Site like an open source project – encouraging collaboration, edits, transparency and commentary – so we understand that our data has always been free for re-distribution. However, we did not anticipate the entirety of our database being re-copied and re-packaged as original information without appropriately referencing Palamida as the source. We are disappointed to have to add any sort of copyright but have chosen an open source license in hopes of continuing the spirit of the resource.

Well, I hate to break it to you chaps, but if your original licence allowed the database to be copied (and I don't know if that's the case, but let's assume it is) it's a bit unfair to complain when someone, er, copies it. If you want credit - which is a perfectly reasonable thing to want - make sure the licence reflects that. If you don't want people to copy it, fine, but then it ain't "like an open source project".

Basically, sharing means sharing - and open source *does* mean free (subject to complying with the licence.) (Via C|net.)

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