License Counseling

Greg Herlein gherlein at
Tue Aug 28 03:48:00 UTC 2001

> > I wish to release a program, and make it open source, everything is 
> > modifiable program and documentation, but other developer's have to report 
> > the modifications to me (the founding member) by sending me a copy of the 
> > modified program or/and application/documentation (this includes a book 
> > copy)for free
> This is considered to be not Open Source, because it puts too great
> a burden on people that create distributions.  They often need to
> patch the software a bit to make it work with the rest of the
> distro, and it is unreasonable to have them send 100 or 1000
> notifications to people who use licenses like this.
> In addition, your license burdens people who want to modify the
> software for their own use.
> Instead, you should *encourage* people to send your their
> patches, and you will find that they are mostly happy to do so,
> because by working their patches into the official distribution,
> they will not have to apply them over and over as you issue new releases.

This cuts to the chase of a lot of the arguments among the open
source and free software people lately.  I think you
mis-spoke:  it may not be considered "Free Software" but it most
certainly is open source.

Fundamentallyu, if Daniel wants to release his code and/or docs
under the license he described, then he should be able to IMHO.
If the conditions are too burdensome for the distributions then
they don't have to include it.  They have the choice - they do
not have to include it, any more than he has to license it in
such a way that they can include it more easily.

Why should Daniel be pushed to release under a license other than
what he wants?  If it's his copyright (and/or he has releases
from contributors) then let him do what he wants - it's his to
make that decision.

The Free Software crowd - people that think it's not - need to
revisit the menaing the freedom, IMHO.


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