Artistic License

David Woolley forums at
Thu May 5 06:56:25 UTC 2011

Dale wrote:
>  >>someone can certainly charge you for the physical act of transferring 
> bits to you,
> So if I get it right,this means that if I distribute the source or 
> binary through the internet by allowing users to download it,since it 
> does not cost me anything to convey a copy to them,I cannot charge any 
> distribution fees.

It does cost you. You have to pay for the server and your time in making 
the software available also has a cost.  You would probably have to only 
make the file downloadable after payment had been offered, otherwise it 
might be confused with a licence fee.

>  >>Licensing Fees are fees for permission to do something with the software
>  >>The downstream recipient is only paying for the bits, not for the 
> rights to use
> and furthermore if I allow users to download the binary/.exe with the 
> compiled/runnable application I cannot charge them for profit,say $5 per 
> download, since under the Artistic Licence I can only charge for 
> distribution fees, not for using the application.

I don't know the details of the artistic licence, but the GPL certainly 
allows a profit on the download and support fees.  The basic limit to 
this is that recipients can redistribute and undercut you if you set an 
unfairly high price.  Red Hat make large profits without charging any 
copyright licence fees.

David Woolley
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