Subscription/Service Fees - OSD Intent

David Johnson david at
Thu Mar 29 00:04:47 UTC 2001

On Thursday March 29 2001 05:35 am, Eric Jacobs wrote:

> My statement that Bob has all the rights which Andy has but does not
> have the requirement of distributing under the GPL is derived from
> David Johnson's argument about OSD #7 -- namely, that a recipient of
> Open Source software gains all of the rights that the distributor
> had with regard to the software, _without_ having to meet any of the
> requirements that the distributor did.

Yup, that's pretty much what I said. I'll still stick by it. And that's why I 
don't believe that shareware Open Source is possible, because the recipient 
does not receive the same rights as the distributor. Paying a registration 
fee is something additional that the recipient must do before gaining full 
rights to the program. A payment (execution) to unlock additional rights 
(license), is not allowed by definition #7.

The recipient gets all of the rights of the distributor. In the case of the 
GPL, the recipient can run the program without having to worry about a thing. 
He can also distribute the program provided he follows certain conditions, 
which is exactly the same rights as the distributor! Nothing has changed. 
There is no case where the distributor can do one thing but the recipient 
cannot. There may be conditions to those rights, but those conditions are the 
same for both parties.

David Johnson

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