OSD modification regarding what license can require of

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at mibsoftware.com
Thu Mar 14 05:37:06 UTC 2002

Bruce wrote (in part)
> aren't. Is this fair to them? I contend that this sort of activity should
> be placed outside of the covenant represented by the GPL. Richard and
> Eben don't necessarily agree with me - yet.

Is the goal here guaranteeing freedom of use, or is it trying
to increase the amount of source which must be published?

Bruce, I know you are at the "collecting ideas" stage,
and discussing details and mechanisms under development
may just be inflammatory at this point. But can you
share some more of your thoughts?  

Under what theory of law will a copyright holder/licensor
challenge someone violating a "usage requires publication"
clause in a license?  

As I understand it, under 17 USC 117 (US copyright law), if
you are an owner of a copy, you get to run the software,
and that means public performance.

Personally, I think the OSD #1 should be even MORE clear
that each "licensee" in truth owns the copies they have
and enjoys the permissions afforded by 17 USC to utilize
the program, making backup copies, etc.

Going in the other direction (to allow OSI approval of licenses
which are binding only under contract law, and not copyright law)
is going to require sacrificing OSD #1, right?

It was my understanding that it can be hard to convince a court
that a gratis download binds the recipient to a contract/license.
(Because there is no consideration.)  

If these changes are made, the OSD will have to be expanded in
order to explicitly require each license include the fair use
and other permissions already in 17 USC, as well as explicitly
prohibit other usage restrictions.

Is that kind of complex rewrite what you are considering?

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