Wording in Open Source Definition

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Fri Feb 16 19:51:52 UTC 2001

John Cowan writes:

> Richard Boulton scripsit:
> > We were unable to come to a satisfactory agreement, so I am asking this
> > list:  "Is it permissible in any circumstances for an Open Source license
> > to require a royalty or other fee for sale of the software?"
> The answer is clearly "no".
> > If the answer is no, I humbly suggest that the "may not" be changed to
> > "must not" where it appears in clause 1, and that "free" be changed to
> > "free-of-cost" in the rationale for clause 1, to avoid others falling into
> > this same argument.
> I think you are absolutely right, and "may not" should be changed to
> "must not" everywhere.
> As evidence that "may not" means "must not" in this document, however,
> consider clause 6.  The second sentence purports to be an example of
> the general principle given in the first sentence, yet the second
> sentence reads "may not" where the first reads "must not".

Maybe the OSD should be written to use terms like MAY, MUST, and
SHOULD as defined by RFC 2119:


(And it could then say so.)

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org>  | And do not say, I will study when I
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/  | have leisure; for perhaps you will
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF)  | not have leisure.  -- Pirke Avot 2:5

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