Subscription/Service Fees - OSD Intent

David Davies ddavies at
Wed Mar 28 09:07:46 UTC 2001

On Wednesday, 28 March 2001 8:45 AM,  David Johnson wrote

-> The OSD is an attempt to formally define Free Software (*). 
-> It was never 
-> meant, I believe, to be a list of restrictions on licenses. 

Because of the well known ambiguity between Free (Beer) and Free (Speech) It
would seem this is one area where the OSD should be particularly clear and
spell out it's position.

Is it trying to encourage the distribution of source code with software for
the purpose of sharing knowledge?  
I'm sure this is the case so it is a rhetorical question.

Is there a secondary purpose to also ensure that the software can be
obtained and used without payment?  

Either Way if the definition exists at all it should make this fundamental
point clear.

On Wednesday, 28 March 2001 3:45 AM, David Johnson wrote:

-> This is the second thread in half a year trying to figure 
-> out some way to 
-> charge for usage of Open Source. Why? Why do you want to 
-> charge usage fees 
-> for Open Source Software? Why not stick with a normal 
-> shareware license and 
-> be done with it?

I don't think that is the case at all, actually the reverse.

It is trying to figure out whether a Software License which would require
usage fees but would otherwise comply with the terms of the OSD would meet
the OSI definition of "Open Source".

It is NOT a case of trying to change the definition of "Open Source" but
only of trying to understand and clarify what "Open Source" is accepted to

It is good that there is a forum for such discussion but if the issue has
been raised before then doesn't it suggest that this should be clarified in
the OSD?

David Davies 

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