Subject: Re: "open source" -- new term for libre software
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen)
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 18:05:14 -0500 (EST)

tchrist: do you have time to clarify your intentions in two aspects of
the Artistic License?  Bruce Perens is trying to formulate a definition
of "open-source software" that will include other people's software
that can be distributed only under the Artistic License.  I'd email lwall,
but I don't know where to email him.

On 10 Feb 1998 bruce@va.debian.org wrote:
> > Have I misunderstood the OS guidelines?
> 
> Possibly. In this portion of the OSD, I am concerned with whether or not
> you can sell a distribution containing the program. The artistic license
> only allows that in an aggregate distribution.

Whoops!  I thought that part was about whether or not you can give away
a distribution without paying royalties.

Still, this is kind of confusing.  You can charge a "reasonable
copying fee", which is defined (higher up) as "whatever you can justify
on the basis of media cost, duplication charges, time of people
involved, and so on."  There's an explicit note there that the judgment
of what is reasonable is to be left to the market of the "computing
community at large as a market that must bear the fee".

Read sideways, this seems to say that you can charge whatever the
market will bear to make a copy of Perl for someone under the Artistic
License.  Even though you can't sell them that copy.  Is this accurate?

> I think we should simply rule out Artistic License programs and remove
> the exceptions about them. We can also remove Paragraph 4 about diff files
> if I can get Eric to agree on that.

I don't think these exceptions are strictly necessary to include
Artistic-License programs.  It looks like you can distribute full
modified versions under any of several conditions, of which 3(a) and
4(b) might include redistributing them under the Artistic License.  I'm
not really sure.  Is this accurate?

Kragen