Subject: Re: Dual licensing
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 07 Jun 2004 09:21:26 -0400

Marius Amado Alves <amado.alves@netcabo.pt> writes:

> > Your first criticism was that it was not possible to sell open source
> > software because somebody could undercut you.  Now your criticism is
> > that what we are selling is not publically available except through us
> > (or our customers if they choose to distribute it).  I presume that
> > you see the shifting target.
> 
> Of course. First you explained (very well) how undercutting was not an
> issue in practice, and then you indicated that what you really sell is
> a closed part. These are the two different targets.

You started out talking about open source software.  There is
absolutely nothing in the definition of open source software which
requires it to be on an FTP site somewhere for public download.  Open
source software which is not publically available is still fully open
source.

If you want to talk about something else, namely open source software
which is available for anybody to download, then we can talk about
that.  But that is a strict subset of open source software.  (An
example of a commercial company which sells this subset of open source
software is cheapbytes.com).

> - you never sell open source directly, there is always some 'trick'

There is no trick, except by your unstated definition.  If you think
there is a trick, please point to the aspect of open source software
which is being finessed.

As I said in my last note, I concede that there are probably types of
open source software which can not be sold commercially.  But it does
not follow that no type of open source software may be sold
commercially.

> I merely try to discuss these issues here in as much as they relate to
> license terms. For example: dual-licensing requires a 'viral' license;
> open source direct sale seems to discriminate and break clause 6, and
> stop being open source; etc.

Direct sale as such does not violate OSD #6.  It would only violate
OSD #6 if certain people were not permitted to buy it.  "No
discrimination" does not mean "available to all;" it means "no
specific restriction."

Ian
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