OSD compliant shareware

Samuel Reynolds samuel_reynolds at csgsystems.com
Wed Nov 14 16:31:15 UTC 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Forrest J. Cavalier III [mailto:mibsoft at mibsoftware.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2001 3:01 PM
> Subject: OSD compliant shareware
> I am writing in the hopes that you could share 
>    - insights into the creation of the OSD, (why it did not
>      explicitly protect the right to use,)


I don't think copyright law addresses use. It reserves to
the copyright holder of a work the rights to create and
distribute copies, create and distribute derivative works,
perform in public, etc.

The copyright holder may grant some or all of these
rights to others by a (relatively) simple statement
of grant and conditions. This is the mechanism used
in open-source licenses.

In general, the right to *use* the work is implied by
ownership of a copy of the work, and limited to the
copy of the work that one owns. For example, paintings
(with a very few, contractually-obligated exceptions)
can be displayed publically or privately, sold, or
destroyed by their owners, without requiring permission
from anyone. Constraints on or grants under additional
terms of this "right" to use the work fall in the realm
of contract law, and can be promulgated only via a
contract. Such a contract requires positive agreement
between all parties involved prior to the "right" being

>    - and how (if?) the OSD should best be amended to
>     address the issue of use, assuming 17 USC 117 is not
>     applicable permission.

Unless you want to require open-source licenses to be
shrink-wrap/click-through licenses (shudder!), I don't
see how you can address use.

Besides, one of the signature features of the OSD is the
provision forbidding discrimination on the basis of field
of endeavor (i.e., use).

(I commented on the attached license already.)

- Sam

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