RealNetworks' RTSP Proxy License

John Cowan cowan at
Fri Sep 7 18:48:58 UTC 2001

Joseph Reagle scripsit:

> I've noted this distinction between an acceptance of a license 
> (unilateral?) and contract (bilateral?) before [1]; it's an interesting 
> (and perhaps) important distinction that I don't completely understand yet.

Contracts are bilateral in the sense that they are founded on an offer
and an acceptance.  Open source licenses generally tell you that you
may do certain things (otherwise forbidden by statute) on certain
conditions.  If you don't do the things, the license doesn't accept you.

> However, based on this thread I went and had a look and most of the OSI 
> license *do* restrict use:
> Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without 
> modification,
> Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to 
> use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell 
> copies of the Software
> (a) to use, reproduce, modify, display, perform, sublicense and distribute 
> the Original Code (or portions thereof) with or without Modifications, or 
> as part of a Larger Work

These licenses allow, rather than restricting, use.  IMHO (IANAL) allowing
use is mere excess, having no effect.

John Cowan               cowan at
Please leave your values        |       Check your assumptions.  In fact,
   at the front desk.           |          check your assumptions at the door.
     --sign in Paris hotel      |            --Miles Vorkosigan
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