IPL as a burden

Manfred Schmid mschmid at intradat.com
Tue Jan 16 17:54:22 UTC 2001

> I'm sorry, I was thinking that you were talking about using an open
> source license, and then claiming license fees on top of that.  Now I
> understand that you were just continuing your claim that requiring
> license fees was compatible with open source.  That's interesting; I
> don't see a clear statement in the OSD that recipients of a program be
> permitted to run it.
> Nevertheless, if the recipient of an open source program can not run
> it without an additional license, where the license itself is the only
> obstacle (that is, no other software is required, just the license
> itself), I feel certain that that program is not actually open source.

It is indeed interesting that GPL does not address the matter ofrunning
a GPLed program. From a legal standpoint it might be interesting, if the
OSD is an inegral part of GPL or not. From a non-legal standpoint I
would argue that OSD #7 covers that matter.

Still I do not see IPL being incompliant with the OSDs. we explicitely
address the matter of running an IPLed program and state that license
fees may apply.

We do not feel that the license is an obstacle. Free Software mens free
speach, not free beer (adopted from gnu.org)
All you will have to do is pay the price asked for, if applicable.

> If I want to run your program on several different computers, then
> removing the license information is clearly an improvement for me.
> With open source programs, you don't get to define what an improvement
> is.  I do.

You do have to stick to the license terms and the definition of an
improvement is not totally up to you. 

Lets take great GPLed software and try to illegally ask for license
fees. The easiest "improvement" would be to take out any copyright
notice and licensing information (or change it). You are not allowed to
do this, and there is a good reason for that.

Again, we think the matter is not free beer but free speach. If you
would like to run IPLed software on several different computers, the
price may be higher, but we do not put any license matters in your way.

> > - May we charge license fees for an Open Source Product?
> Yes, you may, but you may not require them.  If you do not permit
> people to run the program without a license, then the program is not
> open source.

We do allow people to run IPLed software without a separate license and
this is how I understand OSD #7. After all, my lawyers would probaly
tell me that you always have to have some licensing scheme, be it
expilicitely or implicitely.

> > 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.
> That one step is taking you out of the realm of open source.

I still do not understand why that should be the case.

> > 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.
> It's easy to understand.  It just isn't open source.  Call it
> something else.
We hope, that it is easy to understand because it has to be. To our
employees, our customers, our investors and to anybody who would like to
participate. Easy structures are transparent and the easier, the better. 

> I want to stress that I am not saying that you should not use the
> license.  I am saying that you should not call this license ``open
> source.''

Besides being able to "officially" call it Open Source and get the
license approved, we think it is a good step to open the source and make
it publicly available. We have thought a lot about it and feel it is the
best for all the parties involved.

Still we would like to get approval.


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