OSI compliance requiring software to be "free beer"?

kmself at ix.netcom.com kmself at ix.netcom.com
Thu Jan 18 18:19:31 UTC 2001

on Thu, Jan 18, 2001 at 07:32:43PM +0100, Manfred Schmid (mschmid at intradat.com) wrote:
> Dear Board Members:
> I follow up on the discussions on license-discuss at opensource.org
> concerning our IPL / Developer Program Model.
> We know, that up to now Open Source Software has been free both in the
> meaning of "free speech" and "free beer". 

As has been pointed out to you.  Clearly.  Repeatedly.  This is simply
not true.  As others have suggested, your persistance on this point
suggests obtuseness, pedantic fixation, or an inability to comprehend.

> We want to introduce a model that guarantees free speech but takes the
> free beer aspect away. 

Then simply charge for your software.

The problem with your model is that you were proposing to distribute
software in binary and/or source form, but *require* an additional
license for the purposes of running the software, in at least some
instances.  This violates term 7 of the OSD.

> Under certain conditions, IPL requires you to pay the prices according
> to our price list, if you want to use IPLed software. 

Change that to "if you want to aquire", make the terms conformant with
the remainder of the OSD (not discriminating against persons, groups, or
fields of endeavor), and you should be fine.  There is no conflict
between OSD and charging for distribution.  Downstream (third-party)
obligations, and secondary licenses, are inconsistant with the OSD.

> We do not want to change the definition of Open Source, nor do we want
> to correct GPL etc. For us, Open Source covers a continuum defined by
> freedom, competition and the availability, changeability and
> distribution of Source Code. 

Not to put too fine a point on it:  Read.  Comprehend.  Decide if you
want or don't want OSI certification.  Put up or shut up.  

My patience has been exhausted.


Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com>    http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?       There is no K5 cabal
  http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/         http://www.kuro5hin.org
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