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

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Thu Dec 22 00:05:52 UTC 2011

Richard Fontana scripsit:

> 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.

That seems to me a restriction on sale rather than on commercial
use, which I take to mean use by commercial entities.  I don't favor
restrictions on sale, but I don't see that they are forbidden by either
OSD #1 (free redistribution) or OSD #6 (no discrimination against fields
of endeavor).

> 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.

It depends on what "party" means.  If it means anyone, then obviously
it's nonsense.  If it means someone who gains rights under the license,
then it's reasonable.

>   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).

I don't take that as requiring replacement of all copies of the original
with the duplicate.

In short, this is not my favorite license, but I still think it's

John Cowan    cowan at ccil.org    http://ccil.org/~cowan
        Sound change operates regularly to produce irregularities;
        analogy operates irregularly to produce regularities.
                --E.H. Sturtevant, ca. 1945, probably at Yale

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