Subject: Re: IPL as a burden
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 15 Jan 2001 12:53:09 -0800

Manfred Schmid <> writes:

> As of today, I do not know of Open Source Software, that asks for
> License Fees. We are the first (to my knowledge) to do so and I think
> that we will not be the only ones. Our customers did not mind to pay
> fees for VShop 2.x (closed source) and I do not see any reason why they
> should mind to pay fees for VShop3 since we are providing added value.

Your existing customers probably won't mind.

The reason that no open source software requires a licensing fee is
pretty obvious: anybody who did not want to pay would simply modify
the software to remove the licensing code.  If they can not modify the
software in this manner, then it is not open source.

> To me, the spirit of Open Source is the availablity of the source and a
> set of freedoms and rights provided along with the source to guarantee
> better software and solutions. When looking at
> I do see no point stating "You must
> not claim license fees for an Open Source product"

You're right, you can claim a license fee.

However, OSD criteria number 3 says that you must permit modifications
and derived works.  If the IPL forbids people from removing the
licensing code, then it violates OSD criteria number 3.

In other words, you can claim a license free, but you can't forbid
people from modifying your software to permit them to run it without
paying the fee.