Free World Licence.

Ross N. Williams ross at
Tue Oct 19 01:14:21 UTC 1999

At 9:51 AM +0200 18/10/99, J.H.M. Dassen (Ray) wrote:
>On Mon, Oct 18, 1999 at 16:39:35 +0930, Ross N. Williams wrote:
>> 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").
>This is not a DFSG-free/Open Source license. It is at odds with clauses 9
>and 8 and possibly 5 and 6.

OK. I will address these clauses in a followup posting.

>Well, the Zarquonese qualify as a group, so that would still be at odds with
>clause 5.
>Seriously though, I know there are lots of people who are not ready to
>commit yet to a fully free OS, while their use of free software is
>increasing (in particular, I'm thinking of people working on proprietary
>Unices extended with free software and people working with Cygwin32 under
>Windows). While I personally don't use such platforms whenever possible, I
>do advocate the use of free software on them, as it can start people on a
>migration path to a fully free environment.

I understand this issue. Whether you think that the Free World Licence
is a good thing from a free-software evangelistic point of view depends
on whether you think that the free software battle should be waged at
the platform or application level. I don't have an opinion on this,
but I do think that the FWL supports the platform battle because it
prevents the functionality of the software from enhancing commercial

>> Definitions
>> -----------
>> FREE PLATFORM: A Free Platform is defined to be any Platform
>> whose software component satisfies the following conditions
>> technically, legally, and free of charge for all entities:
>I haven't studied your definition in detail, but it looks like a platform
>that uses the SCSL would match; are you sure that's what you want? (See e.g.

The SCSL is big and complicated. Could you please summarize for me
the main negative aspects of this licence as you perceive them, so I
can focus on your concerns?


Dr Ross N. Williams (ross at, +61 8 8232-6262 (fax-6264).
Director, Rocksoft Pty Ltd, Adelaide, Australia: 
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