OSD modification regarding what license can require of user

Russell Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Thu Mar 14 15:33:12 UTC 2002

Richard Stallman writes:
 > I think these issues should be judged by the substance of the
 > requirement rather than by the legal hook which is used to impose it.
 > For instance, a requirement to make source available to users is
 > substantively a requirement of distribution rather than a restriction
 > on use.
 > At present we are planning to try to handle the ASP problem in the GPL
 > through a limitation on a certain kind of modification--that you can't
 > delete or disable a command that lets the user download source (if the
 > program has one to start with).  Lawyers we have consulted think that
 > will work.

I doubt we would approve such a license.  We refused to approve Larry
McVoy's Bitkeeper License precisely because it had a limitation on a
certain kind of modification.  The public version of Bitkeeper had a
license term that didn't let you remove or modify a module which
forced you to publish all modifications on a public bitkeeper server.
If you didn't want to do that, you would have to license the code.

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