OSD modification regarding what license can require of user

Emiliano emile at iris-advies.nl
Thu Mar 14 07:37:26 UTC 2002

Russell Nelson wrote:

>  > 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
> offer?
> [1] I don't see how such a license could be a free software license
> either, given what RMS has said about privacy in:
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

I see the issues this brings, but my immediate choices are

1) keep the source closed, or
2) release the sources under conditions that give the users of the
service that my software will provide the same freedoms as the entity
running that software for them has.

I'm not up to speed on copyright law, but my choices here are
(unfortunately) simple. If 2) can't be achieved, it's going to be 1)


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