IPL as a burden

Manfred Schmid mschmid at intradat.com
Tue Jan 16 04:29:33 UTC 2001


> >
> > I think, the obligation to pay a license fee is a legal obligation and
> > not bound to any license keys. We could claim fees without any keys.
> > Even if somebody (maybe us) took out the key algorithm and the software
> > would run without any license keys, we would still be entitled to the
> > fee.
> That would violate OSD #7: no additional license may be required
> beyond the open source license itself.

Sorry, I do net get the point. All we need for claiming license fees is
the IPL itself. If the software has some key algorithm or not. Lets
assume, we do not use license keys and would leave the rest unchanged.
Still we would claim fees lthough our legal position in court might be
weaker, since we do not take "reasonable techniques" to prevent license
fraud. That would not change a single thing from the basic contract
which says: We provide the software, if you use it, you may be obliged
to pay license fees.

I do not want to bore you, but the rationale of OSD #7 reads: 

"7. Distribution of License. (back)

This clause is intended to forbid closing up software by indirect means
such as requiring a non-disclosure agreement."

We do not intend to make the source available to the public under IPL
and close it with the same License by any means.

> > OSD criteria number 3 does not say: "Each and every line of any text
> > published under an Open Source License must be changeable, if it is
> > relevant for technical progress or not".
> You're right, it's not stated.  However, it is implied.  The criteria
> does not say ``must allow modifications and derived works, but the
> license may retrict modifications in certain areas.''  It says that
> the license ``must allow modifications and derived works.''  If you
> prohibit certain sorts of modifications, then you violate the
> guideline.
> Remember that the OSD is not a program, and it is not a legal
> document.  It is a set of guidelines written for humans.

We propose a simple deal: 

VShop3 will be made available in Source Code under IPL

We give you (see gnu.org)
- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0). 
- The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs
(freedom 1).
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor
(freedom 2). 
- The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to
the public, so that the whole community benefits. (freedom 3).  

We will be happy to include any improvements. In contrast to standard
proceedings, we are ready to pay for the work poured in.

Freedom #0 may make our price list apply. But freedom is not about the
price. Anyway, IPL states that it is even free of charge when you use it
for your own purposes etc. (privately or publicly).
Concerning Freedom #3 we are asking not to claim a removal of license
information as an improvement.

I am well aware that we all are (supposedly) not lawyers. So lets not
argue about the wording or the interpretation of some clauses. In my
opinion, two questions have to be answered:

- May we charge license fees for an Open Source Product? 
- May we take reasonable provisions for a legal defending of the Terms
and Conditions of the license?

We do not want to start any religious wars or piss somebody off. We only
want to take commercial Open Source Development one step further.

We honestly think that the combination IPL / Developer Program takes the
spirit of the the Open Source Movement and adds an economic model, that
is easy to understand. 



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