Google: It's open source enough once it's popular

Google wants to host open-source projects, but only ones that use its hand-selected list of licenses. Is it the new arbiter of what is open source? I thought that was the OSI's role...?

This post from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is so funny that it's almost an instant open-source classic. Pierre sets up Google's (mis)statements on the AGPL and its licensing beliefs against one another, leaving a rather ramshackle mess.

It's all in good fun, and in Google's defense Chris Dibona has stated that if AGPL were to become as popular as GPL/BSD/etc. then Google will start hosting those projects. He doesn't like AGPL but isn't blocking it "for nefarious reasons." Fair enough. In the meantime, enjoy Pierre's post.

(By the way, one question I have is how to measure popularity. There's volume of projects, of course, but there's also importance of projects. If Linux were to go AGPL, and it were the only one, wouldn't that be enough? And since when is Google the arbiter of what counts as open source? I thought that was the OSI's job?)

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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