Free World Licence.

Justin Wells jread at
Mon Oct 18 08:28:44 UTC 1999

On Mon, Oct 18, 1999 at 04:39:35PM +0930, Ross N. Williams wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> I have created a new free software licence on which I would appreciate
> some feedback. The licence is called the "Free World Licence" and its
> main feature is that it allows the software to be used on free platforms
> only (GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, GNU/HURD etc - the "Free World").

Several people have pointed out some problems with this license. Here's 
another one: 

The *BSD platforms ostensibly meet your criteria, but one of the things 
their licenses allow is conversion to a type of OS that does not meet 
yoru criteria. Anyone is free to take FreeBSD and make a proprietary, 
non-free OS out of it. The presence of software under your license
would encumber the system such that it could no longer be released
in a non-free way.

You might think that people do this only rarely, but consider a security
company that might want to develop a commercial firewall out of BSD 
unix. They wouldn't go around distributing it as a "non free OS", but
technically that's what it would be. 

Whether or not you agree with this property of the BSD license, the 
point is the BSD developers agree with it, and wouldn't want to include
your software on their distribution.


More information about the License-discuss mailing list