India eyes own open-source license

Does anyone really need another open-source licensing model? One of the leaders of India's IT movement says yes.

MUMBAI, India--In the seemingly never-ending quest to balance openness with profits, one of India's more influential professors is devising yet another open-source licensing program.

Deepak Phatak of the Indian Institute of Technology has kicked off an effort to create the Knowledge Public License, or KPL, a licensing program that will let programmers share ideas with one another while at the same time allowing them to retain the rights to their own software modifications. The license will likely function much like the Berkeley Software Distribution or the MIT License programs, he added.

The idea is to create an environment where developers can take advantage of the collaborative power of the open-source movement while giving individuals the ability to exploit their own twists.

News.context

What's new:
Deepak Phatak of the Indian Institute of Technology has begun an effort to create an open-source license that will let programmers share ideas while also letting them retain the rights to their own software modifications.

Bottom line:
The number of open-source licenses has exploded, leaving many in the community miffed. But Phatak's proposal comes with the power of numbers. India's 1,750 colleges with computer science and electrical engineering degrees admit about 250,000 students a year. Combined with the outsourcing boom, that makes India one of the major centers for software development.

More stories on India

Ideally, such a program could also help ease the raging tensions between the open-source software movement and proprietary software companies.

"The free software people are afflicted by what I call the J factor, which is the jealousy factor. The proprietary people are afflicted by the G factor, the greed factor. They want to maximally extract money from the world," Phatak said in an interview here. "I am working to tell the world, 'Please permit these groups to coexist peacefully and harmoniously. There is a tremendous advantage to everyone.'"

"Legally, we have to move very carefully because the Americans have a tendency to sue anybody for anything," he added.

The number of open-source licensing programs has expanded rapidly in the past few years. Under some programs, such as the General Public License, developers have to publish their modifications if the modifications are used outside their own operations.

Many in the open-source community have complained about the proliferation of licensing models and taken action to curtail the numbers.

Budding software powerhouse
If anything, Phatak's licensing proposal comes with the power of numbers. India's 1,750 colleges with computer science and electrical

Featured Video
6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Top 5: Cars with best resale value

Brian Cooley runs down the top five US automobiles with the best resale value in 2015, five years after original sale.

by Brian Cooley