Some Licensing Philosophy

This project started as the personal project of Robert Adams.

I believe that business and innovation is advanced by common infrastructures. One real world expression of this is the public road system. The nation could have independently owned roads with tolls. In this world, each owner supports their piece of road. Imagine such a road system. Different pieces of road would conform to different design standards. Toll collection system would be different with different payment and membership requirements. Traveling any distance would require constantly stopping and paying and navigating different lane sizes and pavement qualities. Some destinations just wouldn’t have roads.

But if an entity creates a common infrastructure of uniform roads, travel and shipment becomes easy. The roads still aren’t free (taxes through a government or a single company) but now commerce and mobility explodes.

My assertion is that overall prosperity is greater when there are many uses and businesses built upon the common infrastructure vs the world where there are businesses making money off creating the infrastructure. Some economists probably have opinions here.

I see the Herbal System as a common infrastructure that enables shared and extensible viewing of images in the real and virtual worlds. The overall ecosystem will be larger, more innovative, and more prosperous if this common infrastructure is created and made available without barriers.

This philosophy means the sources will be “open source” licensed with some core technologies licensed with GPLv3 so the feature is always available and in the open. Some of the modules could have instances created for specific uses and, since the glue between components is the protocols, these instances could be proprietary. Additionally, some reference designs of certain modules could have a more flexible license (BSD License, Apache License, MIT License, …) but, in general, the core development should happen in a larger, public community.