Redistribution constraint

Andrea Chiarelli a.chiarelli at
Fri Aug 20 08:42:54 UTC 2004

Your practical feedback and the comments of the other participants of the
mailing list have been very useful. From a practical point of view we have
to reconsider the license approach to apply for this project.

>From a theoretical point of view I wish to understand where our distribution
constraint fails to meet the Open Source Definition.

Many thanks for all your feedback

Andrea Chiarelli

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris F Clark" <cfc at>
To: <license-discuss at>
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2004 11:25 PM
Subject: Re: Redistribution constraint

> Andrea Chiarelli started a discussion on redistribution constraints.
> While I don't know the situation in Italy (or whereever you intended
> to perform this contract), in many parts of the world I have found the
> following hold.
> Most agencies that hire contractors to do work for them want the
> resulting work to be "theirs".  This is often called making a
> work-for-hire.  This is particularly true if the hiring agency creates
> the specification.
> If the agency who hires the work doesn't put that requirement on the
> work (this it is a work-made-for-hire), then the chances are the
> agency won't be interested in selling your work in any case.  In those
> cases, you can deliver the work either under a close source license
> (e.g. it's mine you can't resell it) or under an open source license.
> If you desire to deliver it under an open source license, a license
> like the GPL should be sufficient to guard against them trying to sell
> it without doing any work.  This is most often true in cases where you
> have "created" the work and the client simply wants your work to be
> adapted to some need of theirs.
> If you are intending to make your money contracting, simply having it
> noted that you were the original author of the work, may be sufficient
> to guaranteee some revenue stream from your work.  Most clients are
> looking for the most reliable and cheap source for "upgrades" to
> packages that they receive.  Being the original author implies one
> understands the hows and whys of the way the particular piece of
> software works giving one an edge in doing upgrades.
> As a result, I would not fret too much about the choice of license in
> terms of keeping your clients from reselling your software.  I would
> only worry significantly about that if one is attempting to "market"
> the software as a packaged solution that needs no customization.
> That's the case where one might need some form of "leverage" to get
> clients to pay you.
> At least that's been my experience, and I have done similar "build a
> custom solution for a client" and "pre-packaged solution" works.
> Hope this helps,
> -Chris
> Chris Clark                    Internet   :  compres at
> Compiler Resources, Inc.       Web Site   :
> 23 Bailey Rd                   voice      :  (508) 435-5016
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