For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Brian Behlendorf brian at
Mon Sep 29 18:32:24 UTC 2003

On Sun, 28 Sep 2003, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Brian Behlendorf writes:
>  > It's not flame bait.  Show me an open source license that specifies that
>  > each user pay the copyright holder for use.
> You could have a license which specifies that each user have to pay
> the copyright holder when they get the software from the copyright
> holder.  It would have to allow others to redistribute it without fee,
> but the license itself *could* require payment upon recipt from the
> copyright holder.  Some people would be perfectly willing to pay.

That doesn't meet the requirement above.  You're saying I could charge for
the act of allowing a download to someone.  Very different than what I
suggest above.

Note I'm not trying to argue that such a license (every user pays a fee)
is what OSI should be worried about accomodating or anything.  For good
reason any such license would fail the OSD.  I'm just saying that there
are people out there who passionately cling to the notion that if you get
value for using a piece of software, you should be paying the authors of
that software, and that charity as the motivation to pay isn't strong
enough.  Whether that notion, like the notion that a musician or filmmaker
should also be paid by everyone who enjoys their work (see: RIAA, etc),
will die a quick or a slow death, or even die at all, is an open question.


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