[License-discuss] Greetings, Earthlings! Need quotes for article

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Wed Dec 21 23:18:58 UTC 2011

On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 04:50:53PM -0500, Karl Fogel wrote:
> Richard Fontana <rfontana at redhat.com> writes:
> >Yes, but I'd have to dig the details up since the review of these
> >licenses took place in (I believe) 2008.  I've been meaning to do that
> >anyway, and to publish the rationale.  In at least one case (OCLC-2.0)
> >at least one issue involved restrictions on commercial use. 
> I don't see those restrictions in OCLC-2.0, but maybe I'm missing
> something.  If you happen to remember the clause, please post here; no
> worries if you don't have time to dig it up though.

I don't have my records on this one at hand, but as someone else
noted, it says:

  The Program must be distributed without charge beyond the costs of
  physically transferring the files to the recipient.


  Distributions of Combined Works are subject to the terms of this
  license and must be made at no charge to the recipient beyond the
  costs of physically transferring the files to recipient.

The OSD may not be fully clear on this, but I take it as fundamental
that FOSS licenses should not place any restriction on prices charged
for distribution, other than with respect to source code that is
required to be provided when distributing binaries.

In addition, this provision:

  Any patent obtained by any party covering the Program or any part
  thereof must include a provision providing for the free, perpetual
  and unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use by any third

is probably best seen as absurd, meaningless, or fatally unclear.


  If you learn of a third party claim or other restriction relating to
  a Program you have already distributed you shall promptly redo your
  Program to address the issue

A purported requirement to "redo" software you've already distributed
seems unreasonably burdensome for an open source license (however well
intended it might have been in this particular case).

- RF

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