Defining open source debate continues

Defining open source debate continues

Summary: David interviews SugarCRM CEO John Roberts, focusing on the definition of open source. In the podcast, Roberts maintains his hybrid, commercial open source CRM solution can legitimately be called open source, and that his license is merely a merger of two existing open source licenses: the Mozilla Public License and the Attribution Assurance License.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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David interviews SugarCRM CEO John Roberts, focusing on the definition of open source. In the podcast, Roberts maintains his hybrid, commercial open source CRM solution can legitimately be called open source, and that his license is merely a merger of two existing open source licenses: the Mozilla Public License and the Attribution Assurance License. Here is a sample of the exchange:

ZDNet: But you did receive an indication from the OSI that they weren't on board with the merging of those two licenses the way you just described…you just said so.

Roberts: As someone who founded a project and was living day to day on a project and fortunately that project was growing and getting validation, I felt, especially on changes like this, there's always going to be some debate. There's always going to be time where you need to think about it and not run to rash decisions on things …..My belief was, let's see if other people feel the same of other people who write software and open source license it….and feel they are absolutely abiding by the ideals of the definition of open source.  [Let's see] if they feel the same way. And if enough of them do — you know that will take a little bit of time, we just happened to be the first — then that will create the ground where we can show that there is common cause here and we can put the license [up] for approval. And that's exactly what's happening now David. But initially at the time, it didn't make sense.  My belief is that OSI will approve attribution because it is an important thing and then what will happen? Wow, Sugar will have been open source-compliant all along. In the interim, I don't think it was trying to rush a decision on something that I think needed some time to be thought through an validated by having projects also feel very strongly about it as I do.  It does take some time and that's exactly where we are today and that's why the license is going to OSI today.

ZDNet: What you're saying is that you didn't deliberately circumvent the OSI's process, but you clearly avoided it because the choices are either avoid it or follow it, I mean you can't…

Roberts: Avoid isn't the good word for it, let's see if consensus builds around this…and if there isn't consensus built around it, then we would have changed our position. Absolutely…

Topic: Open Source

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