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

Karl Fogel kfogel at red-bean.com
Thu Dec 22 00:02:13 UTC 2011

Richard Fontana <rfontana at redhat.com> writes:
>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
>  party.
>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).

These are indeed real concerns.  Personally, I'm just going to pretend
they don't exist for now, so I can get other work done first, but it's
good to have these issues highlighted.  (And I don't mean others should
pretend the concerns don't exist -- I allocate only my own time :-) .)

Thanks for spelling it out.  The patent bit I agree is unclear, but
probably has no bearing on FOSS-ness.

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