Subject: Re: IPL as a burden
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 15 Jan 2001 14:42:38 -0800

Manfred Schmid <> writes:

> > 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.
> > 
> I think, the obligation to pay a license fee is a legal obligation and
> not bound to any license keys. We could claim fees without any keys.
> Even if somebody (maybe us) took out the key algorithm and the software
> would run without any license keys, we would still be entitled to the
> fee.

That would violate OSD #7: no additional license may be required
beyond the open source license itself.

> OSD criteria number 3 does not say: "Each and every line of any text
> published under an Open Source License must be changeable, if it is
> relevant for technical progress or not".

You're right, it's not stated.  However, it is implied.  The criteria
does not say ``must allow modifications and derived works, but the
license may retrict modifications in certain areas.''  It says that
the license ``must allow modifications and derived works.''  If you
prohibit certain sorts of modifications, then you violate the

Remember that the OSD is not a program, and it is not a legal
document.  It is a set of guidelines written for humans.

If you really believe that your license is open source, I can only
conclude that you do not understand open source.  The license, as it
stands, will not get OSI approval.  I urge you not to use the term
``open source'' to describe your license.  It will just get you in