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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: The Unofficial "Harmony, Licensing, the Universe and everything" FAQ
Date Mon, 14 Nov 2005 15:09:19 GMT
Leo Simons wrote:

> Its kind-of hard to make sense of the whole legal+java+licensing+patents+open source
> picture. I think in the end it comes down to the US legal system just not making a
> lot of sense.

I disagree. It makes perfect sense while you start to understand why 
these restrictions were created in the first place.

The goals of the ASF, the FSF, Sun and the patent office are not always 
in synch. If they were, we wouldn't have to discuss.

In the past, the *distance* between these entities was so big that even 
talking was a challenge.

Years of convergence make the talking possible, yet actions are hard 
because they require changes in the ecosystem and these changes are slow 
and hard.

Both the ASF and the FSF are slowly but surely thinking about changing 
their respective policies to increase the ability for people to exchange 
code and package things together.

Yet, both have strong and loyal communities that need to be reassured 
that changes are not going to "pollute" their philosophical vision and 
their social ecosystem.

This is no different than a "cold war" diplomacy battle: both sides 
think their way of thinking is superior, yet they respect the power and 
capacity of the other side and would like to be able to use it, but they 
are afraid of the non-linear effects of doing so in their social ecosystem.

My gut feeling is that Harmony is going to make it clear that it is in 
the interests of both communities for the ASF and the FSF to find a way 
to collaborate.

But making it clear and making it happen are two different things: how 
we are going to get there, though, it's a huge question mark in my head.


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