Subscription/Service Fees - OSD Intent

Forrest J Cavalier III forrest at
Thu Mar 29 12:51:15 UTC 2001

Eric Jacobs <eaj at> wrote:

> But whether or not shareware-with-source can be practically or legally
> enforced is not my main point. My main point is that OSD #7 cannot be
> sensibly construed as a criterion that a requirement-to-pay be waived
> for users to whom the software is redistributed, *without* also
> implying the waiver of other kinds of requirements, such as GNU
> GPL-style "viral" requirements.

True, with respect to #7.  But there is OSD #1.

  The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away
  the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution
  containing programs from several different sources. The license shall
  not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.

A "royalty" is payment to the author.
I spent some time discussing the IntraDAT viewpoint off-list
in January.  The stumbling block and misunderstanding were very
simlar.  Perhaps the OSD could be written to be more clear.

There was also another point of contention.  Apparently in
German the idea of "right to do something" is not the same
as "permission to do something."  (It was very difficult to
determine that it was this difference which was causing
us to argue in circles.)

I am (mostly) bi-lingual, but not German, and I never asked anyone
else about it.  

He explained the difference using the example of a museum
open to the public.  Any member of the public has a "right"
to enter the museum.  But they still have to pay the admission fee.

I explained that when the OSD used the term, it was in the sense
of "license" and "permission."

When you define "right" as "not otherwise restricted by law", as
he did, the OSD reads very differently.  That is how IntraDAT
planned to charge usage fees without violating the OSD.


Nowhere in the OSD is the right to use software required.

Although I believe this to be permitted by copyright law,
perhaps placing a mention in the OSD (or rationale) would
also eliminate confusion.

Forrest J. Cavalier III, Mib Software  Voice 570-992-8824 has over 30,000 links to  
source, libraries, functions, applications, and documentation.   

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