[consult] Call for Community Consultation - Software Repository

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Fri Jan 18 12:12:41 EST 2008

>   Hi, you have made the mistake of assuming that commercial is the
> opposite of open source. 

No I haven't!
Commercial software (other than shareware) is usually distributed
under the terms of a distribution contract. If you put a commercial
software package (other than shareware) on your server for people to
copy, then you are very likely breaking the law.

Has everybody forgotten that the proposal is *NOT* for ARIN to use
some software, but for ARIN to make copies available for download?
Licenses are paramount in this case. ARIN needs to ensure that it
has the right to distribute the software.

And if ARIN is going to distribute both software that has restrictive
licenses, then I think they owe us an explanation of the licencing
terms up front. That is the substance of my comments.

>   IBM, Sun, Mysql and Redhat *sell* (i.e. do commercial 
> transactions) for open source software. 

So what? If it is licenced under the IBM Public License, then that
is OSI-approved and therefore ARIN can just put it on the site.
If it is MySQL, that is GPLed
so there is no need to get permission to distribute. Redhat make
Centos available under the GPL so again, no problems. However
RedHat Enterprise Linux is licenced differently and you cannot
copy it verbatim or distribute copies of it to others.

As far as I understand, ARIN has no intent to *SELL* software, just
make it available for others to copy. Therefore the important question
is "What software packages does ARIN have the *RIGHT* to distribute?".

The easy strategy is to start with OSI-approved Open Source licenses
and packages which have a copyright disclaimer (Public Domain).

--Michael Dillon

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