Re: [unrev-II] Re: Request For Comments

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Sat May 13 2000 - 13:37:24 PDT

  • Next message: "Re: [unrev-II] Current Proposals"

    Paul Fernhout wrote:
    > I for one will not contribute any further code to this colloquium
    > until
    > licensing issues are resolved to some form of satisfactory "open
    > source"
    > and the development effort is moved out from the Stanford / BI
    > "permission to use" clause with its indemnification provision. So in
    > addition to having a BSD revised license, the "permission to use"
    > agreement would have to be formally revised.
    I must apologize profusely to all concerned for having unintentionally
    opened what I believe to be an illusory can of worms.

    My original message was meant as a personal illustration of the need
    for altruism, the example I used was merely stage-setting -- part of
    a lengthy, ongoing discussion on this topic.

    Doug is totally committed to open source, as is every member of the
    group that is present at that meeting. Of many ideas being kicked
    around to bootstrap the project, one of them was to set up a formal
    project within SRI (an organization which has up to this point
    graciously donated meeting space and at least one full time person
    who has been able to devote quality time to the effort -- all for an
    unofficial, exploratory project).

    SRI is no different from any other organization we might approach to
    fund this effort. Like any venture capitalist or company, they quite
    reasonably ask, "Where is the opportunity to continue paying the light
    bills, meeting salaries, and get the trash hauled away?" We wouldn't
    expect General Motors to invest in this without some reasonable impact
    on the bottom line, nor should we expect any other organization to do

    The question always was, and continues to be, how do you provide a
    profit incentive that is consistent with Open Source development?
    Answering that question provides the solution needed to secure
    funding, in a way that benefits humanity as a whole. In attempting to
    answer that question, we have explored a wide variety of options.

    But I can tell you this: Doug is absolutely adamant that the project
    will be open source. I know that it will be. If we can't provide
    sufficient profit incentive, then our options are self-funding or
    government funding. If we can, then a whole gamut of commercial
    options open before us. Either way, it is going to be fully Open Source,
    with no strings attached. I'll bet my last dollar on that.

    Once again, my abject apologies for having inadvertently created a
    completely erroneous impression. That was never my intent.

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