OSD modification regarding what license can require of user

Russell Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Thu Mar 14 03:51:23 UTC 2002

Emiliano writes:
 > their users the freedom I've given them, or even an acknowledgement of
 > my work or a notice of where to get a copy of their own, because the
 > service-users will never get to see the source and/or the license. 
 > And I'm not fine with that.

That Way Lies Dragons.

Since the service provider is not copying the modified work when they
let someone use it, the copyright holder (henceforth, 'you') needs
more than copyright permissions to solve this problem.  You need to
get people to agree to distribute modifications[1], and you need to get
them to agree to penalties if they refuse.  Such an agreement would
have to be enforcable in a court of law.  As such, it would be a
contract.  A contract has to be negotiated.  It cannot be applied
unilaterally.  The negotiation might be as simple as an offer and an
acceptance.  How do you distribute Open Source software in such a
manner that the user can only access it after seeing an offer and
performing an act which can only be interpreted as acceptance of that

[1] I don't see how such a license could be a free software license
either, given what RMS has said about privacy in:

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