Open source shareware?

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at
Thu Nov 8 17:21:40 UTC 2001

John Cowan wrote:
> There is no obvious violation, but the license is probably
> not enforceable either, since it purports to forbid people
> from doing something -- using the program -- that is permitted
> by law.  To constrain the user, the user would have to do
> something to accept the contract.

There was a citation recently on this list of a ruling
that making a copy from disk into RAM was making a copy
and subject to copyright laws.  Is my recollection
of that citation correct, does it still stand?

What if the shareware clause was clarified as follows:

   If you decide to run the software after a 30 day evaluation period,
   you must pay a fee of $20 to <copyright holder> for the right
   to make copies in computer memory for the purposes of running the

(Since the OSD language is "redistribution", not "making copies",
I think this new clause still passes.)

In other messages so far, there was a weak argument about fields
of endeavor (sorry, that would reject the GPL too.)  and one
that changing the software somehow create something completely
unconstrained by the license.  (I doubt any court would
agree with that, but maybe the clause would be better as
"the software or substantial portions thereof".)

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