Subject: RFC on this situation
From: (david d `zoo' zuhn)
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 93 22:57:44 PST

   I am in the process of creating a library, which I hope will be used
   widely. I would like to give authors of free[1] software the right
   to use it under conditions like those of the GNU project. However,
   for commercial use, I'd like to charge a fee. How do people feel
   about this, and what would be the best way to do it?

   (I should note that the reason why I want commercial people to pay
   is because I feel that if I have so compromise my ethical feelings so
   they can use it in a proprietary way, they should also suffer. What 

What if the commercial use is done in such a way that it's not proprietary?
A not-so-hypothetical example to counter yours:  what if we at Cygnus
wanted to use this software, and promised to distribute sources (which is
something we already do).  Would we need to pay?  

One example of something of this nature is Ghostscript.  (As I understand
it -- LPD may wish to comment if he sees this).  L. Peter Deutsch maintains
two versions of this software: one with a copyright that allows hoarding,
and another under the GPL.  As author, he's allowed to do this.  The
technical content of the two versions is identical.  It's the copyright
that changes.  

The Khoros distribution also allows free non-commercial use, but requires a
license from the U of NM for commercial use.  So precedents exist for these
sort of terms.  

In your case, you could freely redistribute a version that allows
non-commercial use, and then make an offer to distribute your other
version, which allows commercial use, for a fee.  

The part of your note that is most troublesome to me is the assumption that
commercial use means proprietary use.  The whole point of this list (as I
understand it) is discussion of free software in commercial ventures.
Please remember that places do exist where commercial software is free

  david d 'zoo' zuhn |    
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    cygnus support   |    And if you're never lost, how can you be found?   |