allowing non-free use but limiting public performance

David Johnson arandir at
Thu Feb 24 02:51:21 UTC 2000

On Wed, 23 Feb 2000, Justin Wells wrote:

> I also want to allow commercial software developers to make some non-free
> derivations of my software. However, I want to place limits on this. 
> In particular, I don't want there to be a non-free version of my software 
> (no non-free code fork).  I only want there to be non-free applications
> that use it. I think I can accomplish that like this:
>     You may create non-free derivations and use, copy, distribute, and
>     sublicense them without providing source code to your users. You may
>     charge a fee or royalty for doing so. However, recipients of such 
>     non-free derived works shall not receive the right to create any 
>     further derivations.

Why not just allow linking? That way everyone can use the software but can
only modify it if the results are free.

> Enter controversy: I am worried about CORBA/RMI/DCOM/etc.
> You could still build non-free derivations of this by making the non-free
> version a CORBA/RMI application that exports its API. New derivations 
> could be made which call the CORBA API. Nobody knows whether or not these
> applications would be derived works or not. If they are, no problem. 

The problem is, as I see it, such applications are not derivations of your

David Johnson...

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