GPL vs APSL (was: YAPL is bad)

David Johnson david at
Tue Sep 25 01:42:42 UTC 2001

On Monday 24 September 2001 11:08 am, Greg London wrote:

> OR (B)
> you distribute a binary in one kit.
> and you make the source code freely available.
> (preferably downloading for free on the net)
> those are the only two options of the OSD.

You err slightly in (B). The OSD says that there must be a well publicized 
means of obtaining the source code. In my interpretation, "publicized means" 
can refer to an FTP or website, or a README file, or the standard 
documentation, or any other means that notifies a potentially anonymous 
holder of a binary as to how to obtain the source code. It does not mean that 
the source code must be made equally available to those without the binary.

> One thing Bob can't do, according to OSD,
> is fix a bug in Alice's code, send her a binary
> that works, and taunt her, saying "I'll send
> you the source for a million bucks."
> Once Bob sends Alice a binary, he must make
> the source available to her.

The OSD applies to licenses and software. It does not apply to you, me or the 
guy behind the tree. In the case of Nefarious Bob, the OSD is completely 
silent. It doesn't care what Bob does. That's not its job. That the job of 
the license.

In the case of the MIT license, Bob certainly *can* charge Alice a million 
bucks for the source, but the license would still be an Open Source license.

David Johnson
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