IPL as a burden

Brian DeSpain bdespain at valinux.com
Tue Jan 23 17:20:16 UTC 2001

John Cowan wrote:

> Angelo Schneider wrote:
> > Nope, taking fees is no problem either for open source nor for GPL.
> > The problem is: you can not take fees from customer A and waive thme
> > from customer B.
> Sure you can.  The FSF charges for the GNU CDs it distributes
> (historically a major income source for them), but also gives away
> the exact same software for download via FTP.  You cannot appeal
> to the DFSG/OSD anti-discrimination rule and expect them
> to give you a free or even at-cost CD on the strength of it.

The problem is that you are discriminating based on class of customer. It
is not simply a matter for charging for CDs. The IPL discriminates between
various classes of customers, making some pay a license fee and other don't
have to pay a license fee. The FTP download is freely available to everyone
- not just a specific class of customers.

> Likewise, GPLed software *may* contain technical means that
> compel users to pay a fee when they use the program.  However,
> the libre nature of GPLed software means that anyone can create
> a version of the program which does not contain that code.
> > You can not say: customer A may redistribute/modify sources and pay a
> > fee to you and customer B may NOT modify it.
> Correct.
> In respect of their rights to modify, redistribute, etc.
> Not necessarily in all other respects.
> --
> There is / one art             || John Cowan <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
> no more / no less              || http://www.reutershealth.com
> to do / all things             || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
> with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein

Brian DeSpain
VA Linux Systems

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