IPL as a burden

Lou Grinzo lgrinzo at stny.rr.com
Tue Jan 23 18:36:11 UTC 2001

What about dual-licensing?  Can a company say, "this tool is free and
distributed under the GPL, but only for creating free software; if you want
to sell your software you have to pay for a license and get it under our
normal close-source license"?  Or would that violate the GPL and/or OSI

I'm not asking this in an attempt to be a devil's advocate.  I thought this
was OK, but this thread now has me wondering if my assumption was wrong or
if there's some reason why using different licenses with different customers
isn't a viable solution for the company in question.

Take care,
Lou Grinzo
Editor, LinuxProgramming.com


Angelo Schneider write:

Manfred Schmid wrote:
Hi all!

> "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
> Manfred

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.
You can not say: customer A may redistribute/modify sources and pay a
fee to you and customer B may NOT modify it.


If your license does not meet that criteria it is not OSI/open source.


Angelo Schneider         OOAD/UML         Angelo.Schneider at oomentor.de
Putlitzstr. 24       Patterns/FrameWorks          Fon: +49 721 9812465
76137 Karlsruhe           C++/JAVA                Fax: +49 721 9812467

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