Subject: Re: So what is an FSB anyway?
From: piggy@hilbert.maths.utas.edu.au (La Monte Yarroll)
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 93 13:38:10 EST

> In addition, every company that supplies source code for a fee fits
> this model.  This includes such companies as Sun and AT&T; you pay a
> fee for the source code, and then you can modify it.  Essentially
> every company that I know of is willing to let you have the source for
> some price -- but that price may be prohibitively high.
> 
> Brian

If the price is very low, is that close enough to "free"?

The extreme case that comes to mind is KCL.  You are not allowed to
use the product without a license, but you can get a license
(including source license) just for asking.  I would say that the
community at large has benefited substantially from this arrangement.
I use two products based on KCL--ACKL and OBJ, which are both
distributed under a similar agreement.

A less extreme case is Unix v.7.  Source licenses for this product
were available to universities for very little money.  The result was
a large (even though somewhat exclusive) productive community.

Problems have only come about today because the company that granted
those licenses has changed its attitude.

I would argue that cheap traditional source licenses can be almost as
good for the community as GPL-style licenses.