The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain
For promis'd joy.
See, laddie, it was Robert Burns I was thinking of, when reading the account of our own David Berlind concerning open source license proliferation.
I'm not burned up at all.
Berlind writes that while the OSI claims it has been working for over a year to reduce the number of open source licenses, vendors like SugarCRM have been rolling their own, then refusing to submit the results for review while still calling their own offerings "commercial open source."
Surfing over to the main site of the Open Source Initiative, I find the most recent public log entries are over a year old, and then I find a more-recent piece by our own Ed Burnette on how Google refuses to support more than 7 licenses.
The lesson, I think, is that the gotchas being placed into non-approved licenses may be practically unenforceable. Not that lawyers couldn't win points in court, but any move toward a court would have a profound negative effect on that vendor's community.
This is the power of a community understanding, as opposed to a legal understanding, and the ability of the former to become a market understanding which makes the legal one moot.
Burns' poem, from which the above is its most famous excerpt, is titled "To a Mouse," and asserts that we are all mice in the end, that our best laid plans can easily come undone. Lawyers lay great plans, but the market and the community are the real forces of nature in open source. You violate a consensus at your peril.
How will you react if your "open source" vendor tries to play a game of "gotcha" with your use of code?