The subject of open source software licensing is rarely considered titillating. More often it inspires early afternoon naps.
Well, there’s been a change in the script and we’ve got a small civil war on our hands. Tempers and tensions have risen between US-based Bluenog and Netherlands-based Hippo — both companies deal in the content management space, both are tinkering with open source.
Now it’s not the fight we’re interested in — though it’s been a fun interlude of Days of Our [Software] Lives. Rather, it’s the principles behind the issue that are worth paying attention to.
In short, Bluenog has been accused of violating Hippo’s and Apache’s software licenses by using Hippo’s code and not properly giving attribution. We had a chat with both parties. Here’s what they had to say.
More on CMSWire: Oversights by Bluenog Spark Open Source Community Anger
Repackaging someone else’s code, sticking a new logo to it and selling it under a new name is one way to do it. But it is not the only way.
Perhaps, if there was a proper disclosure of origin from the very beginning, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It seems, Bluenog (intentionally or not) have chosen a different path.
Another question here is whether open source is too liberal to be controlled: in code changes or licensing violations. One can hope for others’ good manners and sticking to legalities, yet the reality shows this is not the first (and not the last) debate on OSS licensing.