Consortium license

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A Consortium license is one that priveleges contributors more than ordinary users, and reserves some rights even from paid or authorized users, e.g. they may get no source code access or perhaps only under some terms. There are various types of consortia and license model:

  1. MCC - R&D shared, mandatory patent license, no commercial product sharing
  2. Bluetooth, X/Open and Java - trademark protects certification by test suite as a standard label
  3. BSD - open source with some rights not in free software and agreement not to apply certain types of patent to extensions of code

The extreme advantage of these licenses is that they are usually self-funding, that is, no volunteer or donated labour or time is required. This can make the consortium quite independent in how it makes its decisions, and it can say 'no' even to the largest player in the consortium. Without which, of course, it would not really be a consortium, but more like the Microsoft "shared source" model.

They also provide much more power to prevent the bad copy problem, e.g. X/Open test suite, and self-interested fork problem, e.g. Java consortium stopping Microsoft from inventing its own library and calling it Java.

A disadvantage is that they actually require a Governance organization and may actually have to enforce license terms sometimes, since they do put some restrictions on users and tell them they can't do things they may want to do.

If there are any factionally defined terms in the Consumerium License, say limiting access to some data or code to some constrained uses or issues, it would become a consortium license within those parametric license terms. Whether this happens is up to the Consumerium Governance Organization.