Will Microsoft fit into OSI compromise?

As a member of the open source community, you have the power. Community contributions rise as projects go down the incline, toward the GPL. That gravity will continue to pull people down, even Microsoft. But it will take time to work.

Bill Hilf from Microsoft.com
The last time I wrote about the OSI it was to praise the "peace deal" it made on the licensing front.

The question today is, can Microsoft fit inside that deal?

At the same OSCON conference where OSI approved its first "attribution" license, Microsoft "good cop" Bill Hilf (left) said last week the company will submit its "shared source" licenses for OSI approval.

Online, Jay Rosenberg elaborated, calling this the culmination of a three-year process,  beginning with Big Green's first Sourceforge code posting.

BBC writer Bill Thompson called these "new" licenses,  but they are not new at all. What's new is the OSI's willingness to accept these higher points on the OSI incline, and Microsoft's willingness to accept the OSI's process.

Open Source Initiative logo
In accepting these, and the attribution licenses, you can argue the OSI is running away from its challenge a year ago to cut the number of approved licenses.

But OSI President Michael Tiemann feels it's better to have all valid licenses inside the OSI tent, where both market and community forces can sort them out.

I agree. As a member of the open source community, you have the power. Community contributions rise as projects go down the incline, toward the GPL. That gravity will continue to pull people down, even Microsoft. But it will take time to work.

Market forces work best in conditions of peace.

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