OSD modification regarding what license can require of user

Emiliano emile at iris-advies.nl
Thu Mar 14 11:55:56 UTC 2002

John Cowan wrote:

> It's not as bad as that: copyright law lets you do the things you
> want.  You may or may not pass the OSD, though.

I'd prefer to have it pass the OSD. I prefer more, though, to release
the sources. Releasing the sources is bound by some restrictions that
may or may not become OSD-conform; it's not at all likely that they'll
be anything like the GPL for reasons outlined below.

> Here's a sketch
> of a license (IANAL, TINLA):
> 1) You, the recipient of this software, may make verbatim copies
> of the software and distribute them to anyone.
> 2) You may make derivative works from the software, provided that
> you make the source code of your derivative work available either
> by allowing public downloading or by sending it to anyone on request.
> You may distribute such derivative works in any way you see fit.
> Your derivative works must be released under this license.

But what if I obtain a copy, make private mods, and offer them for
download under the URL http://www.mysite.com/discontinued/oos+mods.html
This URL, furthermore, is only reacheable by an arcane path through my
website (training/contacts/personal pages/generic/products/legal/old
site/images/trial), 10 layers deep. I also do not post notification of
this URL in we forms displayed by the web app.

Is it publicly available? Yes. Will anyone know? No, since I'm
not required to advertize the existense of the download and or its
license. People specifically asking for it will get the URL, but how
will people know to ask?

> The hook here is that private modifications are flatly not allowed;
> the minute you make a modification, you commit to making your modified
> source available to all.

That would be good for us. We'd also like there to be an obvious way for
the service-user to find a copy of our own license.


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