binary restrictions?

Karsten M. Self kmself at
Wed Oct 3 06:15:06 UTC 2001

on Wed, Oct 03, 2001 at 12:17:15AM -0400, Ned Lilly (ned at wrote:
> > On Tuesday 02 October 2001 03:04 pm, I wrote:

> > What is your purpose in wishing to restrict distribution of the
> > binaries? If it is to provide a mechanism that guarantees purchase,
> > then no OSS license will do. But if it is to protect the name and
> > reputation of the software, then there are several avenues you can
> > take to accomplish that.

> Yeah, it kind of *is* to guarantee purchase.  That is, purchase from
> Foo, Inc. and no one else (if you want to purchase software in the
> first place).  But nothing's stopping you from getting the source and
> compiling it yourself.  Is that a hard and fast no-no?

Restricting purchase rights is also a problem.  You can restrict
patches, but you cannot restrict commercial sale of your work, and still
qualify as OSI-Open Source.


> Re: Karsten and John's other thread, I did intend it as a patch
> license - that is, anyone could distribute the "official" source, but
> not the modified source as a whole.  If they wanted to distribute
> their patches somehow, that would be fine.

This probably passes muster but only just.

Look up issues regarding qmail (I think RusselL might know a thing or
two about it) and issues with its licensing.  There's a line that can be
crossed in even a patches-only license.  EJB gets away with it, where he
does, because his code is of quite high quality.  However, he's most
recently got himself PNG status with OpenBSD over licensing.


Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
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