IPL as a burden

Manfred Schmid mschmid at intradat.com
Tue Jan 16 21:48:13 UTC 2001

> At this point I do not not know if we have a language problem, or if
> you are being deliberately obtuse.

We probably have a language problem (I am native German)

> License fees are incompatible with the OSD.
> Fees required for execution of the program are incompatible with the
> OSD.
> The IPL as presented is not an open source license.
> The IPL as presented will not receive OSI approval.
> (I am not on the OSI board, and I have no say in which licenses are
> deemed open source.  However, I believe that I understand the area
> sufficiently to make the above categorical statements.)
> > 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.
> Your program is not free speech.  Free speech means that I can say
> what I choose even if you don't like it.  In software it means that I
> can change your program as I choose even if you don't like it.  In
> particular, it means that I can remove your licensing code, it means
> that I can copy your program to a hundred computers, and I can run it
> on all of them.
> > > 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.
> For open source software, the definition of an improvement certainly
> is up to me.  Just as with free speech I can say what I want, with
> free software I can improve what I want.

I would propose a bet: You name me a country you deem to have free
speach and I will show you a way to get in jail in that country within
24 hours just by executing free speech. I would put a serious amount of
money on that (execution of course would be up to you :).

Free speech is not a right that grants you to do whatever you want, it
has its restrictions and may conflict with other rights. Take the source
code of any command line GPLed program, remove the code lines, that
print out the GPL information, redistribute it and you got a problem
with this improvement.

> I will start calling ``license fees'' ``execution fees'' to try to
> avoid any possible language problem.
> > 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.
> The higher price is a execution fee.  It is not compatible with the
> OSD.

I could not find this. GPL reads 

"When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price.
Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the
freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this
service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you
want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new
free programs; and that you know you can do these things."

GNU reads 

"`Free software'' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the
concept, you should think of ``free speech'', not ``free beer.'' 

``Free software'' refers to the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute,
study, change and improve the software."

To me, a lot of the discussion gets down to the "free beer" question.
May I ask the Board for an official statement: Is the charging of
license fees (or execution fees) definitely a no-go to qualify it as
OSI-compliant Open Source?

Up to now, I did not find any such statement on opensource.org


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