Subscription/Service Fees

David Johnson david at
Tue Mar 27 00:44:07 UTC 2001

On Tuesday March 27 2001 08:16 am, David Davies wrote:
> It appears that the Open Source definition would not specifically limit a
> license from requiring users to pay a subscription fee or month service fee
> for using the software.  Perhaps I am missing something?

You can charge your customers whatever they will bear in 
order to acquire the software. However, you may not prevent them from 
distributing it to someone else for no charge. I don't see anything in the 
OSD that *specifically* forbids usage charges. But so what? Whether or not 
the OSD allows "usage charges" is irrelevant. All I have to do is give a copy 
to my friend, he gives me a copy back, and I don't have to pay him nor does 
he have to pay you. Tada!

However, playing devil's advocate, you could distribute it as normal closed 
source shareware, and only offer an Open Source license upon registration...

David Johnson

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