Open source shareware?

Chris Gehlker gehlker at
Thu Nov 8 19:05:28 UTC 2001

On 11/8/01 12:27 PM, "DeBug" <debug at> wrote:

> CG> Why would you think that this license is not within the intent of the
> CG> writers of the OSD? Just because the author is charging for the binary?
>> I have nothing against charging but if i do compile the source myself
>> with the same compiler and get identical source code will i have the
>> right to use it for free ?
> Sorry for mistake - should read identical executable

My understanding is that you  can do this. My partner, who is a lawyer, says
that it's probably enough to change the comments in the source code since
the original license allowed unlimited derived works. She says to be safe
you should also change the executable a little. In particular, if the
original program had some kind of about box or splash screen identifying the
original author you should change that. But once you modify the program,
it's yours and you can do what you want with it, as far as copyright goes.

Lawyers never give a simple answer. If you want to distribute the modified
program, you have to worry about Trademark, and trade dress, which is a
whole different can of worms. You can't confuse people that they are getting
the original program if any part of it is trademarked. You have to make it
very plain that this is your version.

If fact, this might be a another approach for our shareware author. Forget
copyright and sue everybody for violating her trademark.
Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is
writing a book. -Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman, orator and writer
(106-43 BCE)

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