Call for Grant Proposals

Tony Meyer t-meyer at
Tue Aug 3 04:16:56 CEST 2004

[Maurice Ling]
> Yes, exactly. You are correct to assume that it is logical to require 
> deliverables from this grant to be open sourced, however, 
> this cannot be inferred from the call for grant proposal's wordings
> "The Python Software Foundation is seeking grant proposals for projects 
> related to the further development of Python, Python-related technology,
> and educational resources."

As I said before (and note that I'm not part of the PSF, or on the grants
committee, or anything else like that), a call for proposals will never
include every possible detail.  If you want specifics, then you ask specific
questions afterwards (and wait for a response from people who are probably
pretty busy, no matter which grant committee this might be).  In all
likelihood, if someone put together a proposal that clearly would further
develop Python in some fantastic way, was closed source, and the closed
source nature didn't effect the development in any way, then the grants
committee would be as likely to approve it as any other grant.

> Although I may somewhat seems to want close 
> source development, my actual intentions is to refer to the grant 
> committee that by the actual wordings of the call allows for closed 
> source development. Unless there is a specific statement by the PSF 
> grant committee, I can foresee that companies may use this grant for 
> close sourced development.

A grant committee can decide whether or not to give a grant to a particular
requestee based on any criteria they like (providing it matches their given
purpose).  I'm sure the PSF would be fine receiving requests that deal with
closed-source development.  Like Tim said, it's likely that an open source
project would benefit more people, and so more likely that it will beat out
closed source competitors.  That doesn't mean that it's impossible for a
closed source project to get a grant.

If your intent was to say "hey, it would help if you were more clear about
these points", then an email saying that would have probably worked better
<0.5 wink>.

> Under common law, 

Whose?  Melbourne's?  Australia's?  The USA's?  It seems likely that it's
the latter that would apply here, given that the PSF is a US organisation.

> although PSF can attach further strings to the grant in the grant
> letter, it is morally incorrect to do so.

In what way?  It certainly seems to me that the morally correct thing to do
is to do their best in selecting projects that meet the stated aims of the
grants.  If that means an open source project, then it does.  If that means
a closed source project, then it does.

> At the same time, although common law may allow such an act, I 
> am not too sure how this will seems in the eyes of equal opportunities
> law and anti-discrimination laws, amongst others.

It seems more than a stretch to apply those sorts of laws to a decision
about particular licenses...

> In either sense, I hate to think that I may eventually force 
> PSF to give me a grant for close sourced project.

I imagine that everyone hates that idea.  I can't see any possible way that
you could do this, though, so we can all be relived <0.5 wink>.

It really does seem that the appropriate move is to simply wait for someone
from the grants committee to have time to respond to your questions.  Isn't
that what you would do with any other grant?  (It's certainly what I would

=Tony Meyer

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