For over 20 years, the Open Source Definition (OSD) has largely defined which licenses are fit for use by collaborative software communities. While there have been many efforts to stretch the definition of open source -- from "source available" to "do no evil" licenses -- incompatibility with the OSD has fatally marginalized most of these efforts. Today, two licensing movements in particular challenge the ascendency of the OSD. On the one hand, startups building SaaS components are moving from open source licenses to more restrictive licenses like the Server-Side Public License (SSPL) to protect their profits from SaaS platform vendors. On the other, the growing ethical source movement seeks to use software licenses as a tool to discourage harmful uses of community-developed software. This talk will discuss the role of the OSD in maintaining license orthodoxy and how these trends test that orthodoxy.
FOSS Backstage 2021