Distributed Copyright: Libre, not "free beer"
Clark C. Evans
cce at clarkevans.com
Thu Jan 18 19:28:38 UTC 2001
On Thu, 18 Jan 2001, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Manfred Schmid writes:
> > I hereby request an official Board statement: Does OSI approval of
> > licenses require the software to be free in the sense of "free beer"?
> [ I prefer to use the terms "gratis" and "libre". In English, "free"
> means both those things at the same time, and in our context is often
> VERY confusing. ]
> No. I (just one of the board members of OSI) don't care if software
> is gratis. Open Source (or "Free", aka rms-Free) software must be
> libre. That it ends up being gratis is just a side-effect; sometimes
> a good one, sometimes a bad one.
I also believe that an appropriate license is "libre" and not
"free-beer". I wrote about this two years back, at
www.distributedcopyright.org ; my original thoughts had a
serious flaw (with regard to trademark), a more succinct
and updated version is at http://www.clarkevans.com/jackson.txt
My primary problem developing this further has been time and
a reasonable product to license under this mechanism. I'm
currently working on a product; and perhaps one of these days
I'll have time to get the non-profit up and running.
Clearly the OpenSource style ("gratis -> free beer") of licensing
does have serious applications, as I've written and contributed
to many open source projects myself. However, I just don't
think it is the solution to *all* software; and I think that
standard proprietary software is ugly enough to deserve
Manfried, If you and others would like to "join-in" and help
refine DistributedCopyright.Org, this would be great. Right
now the list server is down and when I get time I'll update
the web site (which is now over a year old).
Until serious people join in, I'll plod along developing my
killer app and then will go to market under DistributedCopyright.
A product, I now feel, is the *only* way to bring a license
into view (I've ranted enough trying to get others to change
Kind Regards and Sincere Hopes for a Liberating License this year!
P.S. The style of license as you have designed it does not
gaurentee "libre". A seperate non-profit must hold the
copyright for this to be true.
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