variable notification display req.'s

Nathan Kelley phyax at
Fri Aug 30 10:07:33 UTC 2002

To OSI License Discussion <license-discuss at> subscribers,

> From: Max Privus <thehand at>,

> Let's say that the copyright display had to appear above any other 
> windows on the screen for 1/10th of a second per the cumulative number 
> of copies distributed by the licensee. Under this formula someone 
> redistributing 100 copies of the software would need to display the 
> copyright for 10 seconds while another party distributing 10,000 
> copies would have to display the notice for 1000 seconds. Obviously 
> the display requirement becomes onerous past a few hundred copies.  
> The intent here is to inspire high-volume redistributors of the 
> software to adopt a modified , 'commercial' , version of the license 
> and thereby assist in funding the project's development community.
> * you can assume that all other tenets of the license are OSD 
> compliant.

> Would this formula constitute a violation of article 7 of the OSD ?
> 7. Distribution of License
> The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the 
> program is redistributed without the need for execution of an 
> additional license by those parties.

That's a good question. In a strictly technical sense, no; the rights 
attached to the program would apply to everyone, and there is no 
requirement to execute an additional license.

However, requiring the notice to be displayed for 16 minutes, 40 
seconds for the distributor of 10,000 copies would be regarded as 
unreasonable. The intent of the formula is punitive. Those judging your 
license for acceptance into the OSI vault would most certainly see that.

> ..or for that matter would it violate the intent of article 5 ?
> 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
> The license must not discriminate against any person or group of 
> persons.
> could high volume redistributors be construed as a 'group' ?

No. This item, like others in the definition, are about protecting the 
openness of open source. If, as you say, all other tenets meet the 
standards of the definition, then the formula wouldn't be a problem; it 
doesn't prevent high-volume redistributors from exercising their 'open' 
rights under the license.

Cheers, Nathan.
Nathan Kelley | phyax at | phyax at

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