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Re: "Adobe Open Source License" GPL compatible?

From: Tatu Portin
Subject: Re: "Adobe Open Source License" GPL compatible?
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 18:56:49 GMT
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050324 Debian/1.7.6-1

Mike Linksvayer wrote:

I suspect it isn't due to the following ...

If you choose to distribute the Software in a commercial product, you do so with the understanding that you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Adobe against any losses, damages and costs arising from the claims, lawsuits or other legal actions arising out of such distribution. You may distribute the Software in object code form under your own license, provided that your license agreement:

(a)     complies with the terms and conditions of this license agreement;
(b) effectively disclaims all warranties and conditions, express or implied, on behalf of Adobe;

(c) effectively excludes all liability for damages on behalf of Adobe;

(d) states that any provisions that differ from this Agreement are offered by you alone and not Adobe; and

(e) states that the Software is available from you or Adobe and informs licensees how to obtain it in a reasonable manner on or through a medium customarily used for software exchange.

... however it isn't clear whether these do not apply if source is distributed and what the effect on its GPL compatibility would be if that were the case.

I did a quick scan through but didn't see an exactly comparable license.

So, my question is in the subject line.


Well, if Adobe wanted to be GPL compatible, or to get rid of "GPL -virus",
why don't they then use some of the existing licences to be clear and effective?

I think that this "we are open-source" advertising has purpose of "stealing"
contributors' work in same way like with XFree86.
See, that the company can make a proprietary snapshot of the software and use it to compete against isn't benefiting everyone. This is why one should use GPL, not BSD -licence. Of course there may be financial incentive driving BSD-licenced developers. But that incentive cannot be granted for everyone, and effectively discriminates the developers and end-users. This limits the benefits of open source. You know, everyone was end-user once.

One should also see, how different licences affect on the structure of the development. GPL seems to centralize the development, whereas BSD and similiar licences seem to disseminate the development.

Of course, diverse ideas are needed. But one should realize, that with development done in voluntary basis, the only way to pay back for utilized software is to contribute the same way. Otherwise, the system doesn't remain in balance.
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