Open source shareware?

Chris Gehlker gehlker at
Fri Nov 9 02:32:12 UTC 2001

On 11/8/01 3:50 PM, "John Cowan" <jcowan at> wrote:

> Under open-source licenses, you do own your copy.  For those
> of you who seek novel experiences, go and buy a CD-ROM of a
> Linux or BSD distro; you will have, for perhaps the first
> time, bought software.

As someone with some code on Open Source disks I'm afraid I can't agree.
They may own the media. They may own the very generous rights that I granted
them in the license. They certainly own any improvements that they may have
made to the original program. But the original program is still mine.

I never sold software and I never agreed that purchasers of a CD would get
any rights beyond what were explicitly stated in the license.

Now for the two programs that I released under the BSD or MIT license that
may be a distinction that doesn't make a difference, but for all the rest
there is a real difference. I'm the only one who can take the project
C++: The power, elegance and simplicity of a hand grenade.

license-discuss archive is at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list