[Fsf-friends] The Hindu takes up the thread

Mahesh T Pai paivakil@vsnl.net
Mon, 14 Oct 2002 16:19:27 +0530

Arun M wrote:

> Regarding the C-DIT/Friends issue, its basically not a Free Software vs
> Proprietary. Its about who is having copyright of the software. The
> issue wont get solved with the use of Free Software. 

I disagree with Arun here.

Free s/w is about *swatantryam* to use, redistribute, change the 
sources and fine tune the original program to suit one's own needs.

I understand that C-DIT had a contract for development of s/w for the 
FRIENDS project with one company 'a', and once the C-DIT switched 
maintenance and future development to company 'b', company 'a' 
(naturally) got green eyed, and initiated the litigation.  If the s/w 
developed by C-DIT was covered by a standard free license, like the 
GPL, or at least one of the OSI approved licenses, C-DIT would not 
have been in the soup it was in.

That apart, if I employ "X" to develop s/w for me, the s/w developed 
by X belongs to me; not X, *unless* there is a separate agreement to 
the effect that the s/w will belong to "X".  So, I do not get what the 
C-DIT noise was about.

> Even if the work is going to be release as Free Software CDIT/Govt will
> have to make sure proper agreements regarding the licensing are done.   

"Free software" becomes "free software" when it covered by a license 
which ensures *freedom*.  This license *is* an agreement; whether it 
be the GPL at one end, and BSD at other, and everything in between.

> Any way its a very good news that C-DIT is also moving to Free Software.

They are moving towards 'sowjanyam' not 'swatantryam', note the talks 
about *volunteers*.  ( I am subject to correction here ).

Mahesh T Pai.