Free World Licence and clauses 5,6,8 & 9 of OSS definition.

Ross N. Williams ross at
Tue Oct 19 03:01:41 UTC 1999

At 7:30 PM -0700 18/10/99, Ken Arromdee wrote:
>On Tue, 19 Oct 1999, Ross N. Williams wrote:
>> The FWL does not discriminate in relation to a PARTICULAR
>> software distribution. Instead, it discriminates in relation
>> to a CLASS of distributions - the free ones.
>> clause 8 was designed to prevent OS vendors calling "OSS"
>> software that could only be legally run on their platform.
>If it means what you say it means, what's to prevent someone from defining a
>class consisting of "Windows 95 and all successor operating systems"?  That's
>certainly a class as opposed to a particular operating system.

But your example is a class defined by an identity, not a property.
I guess you could counter this saying that "Windows" could be just
as easily defined as the property-based class "operating systems
that support the win32 interface", but if you did this, you'd have
to include the free Win32 interface being developed for Linux.
Which is exactly my point. My definition is not OS-specific, it's
OS-property specific and in a very general way.

>"With respect to a particular software distribution" means that if you need to
>know what the distribution is to know whether you're allowed to use the
>software, it's failed the test.

OK. Well if that's the interpretation, then I guess the Free World
Licence fails it, and so it's game over.


Dr Ross N. Williams (ross at, +61 8 8232-6262 (fax-6264).
Director, Rocksoft Pty Ltd, Adelaide, Australia: 
Protect your files with Veracity data integrity:

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