GNU License for Hardware

L. Peter Deutsch ghost at
Tue Oct 12 22:34:48 UTC 1999

> the very first requirement set forth in the OSD insists on free
> (no royalty or fee) redistribution for "open source" software.

No it doesn't.  This is a very common misunderstanding.  An Open Source
license must *allow* free redistribution (i.e., must not *require* payment),
but it need not *forbid* charging, and as far as I know none of the common
Open Source licenses do, not even the GPL.  I'm allowed to sell CD-ROMs
containing only Open Source software to those people who find this more
convenient / cheap / reliable / trustworthy / ... than downloading it from
the Internet or copying it from their friend's CD-ROM or hard disk, but the
license must also allow the download site (and my friend) to let me do this
without payment if they and I agree to it.

The Aladdin Free Public License forbids charging, but it isn't an Open
Source license, because it imposes restrictions on software that it is
aggregated with and hence doesn't comply with item #9 of the OSD.


L. Peter Deutsch         |       Aladdin Enterprises :::: ghost at
203 Santa Margarita Ave. | tel. +1-650-322-0103 (AM only); fax +1-650-322-1734
Menlo Park, CA 94025     |

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