Subject: Re: Blankley's Challenge (Possible Solution)
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 14 May 2001 22:40:43 -0700

Adam Theo <adamtheo@theoretic.com> writes:

> One. On the matter of re-distribution: The source of the work is in
> all respects (as far as my lack of legal understanding goes, anyway)
> open source/free software (I wish to discuss the differences of these,
> and which is best used here). First, make note of how most, if not
> all, OSS/FS licenses require credit to the original authors, as well
> as sometimes to later (modifier) authors, no matter what modifications
> take place by third-parties. Finally, apply very similar
> practices/clauses to the license on payment for usage.

Most people consider payment for use to make software neither free nor
open source.  Also, most free software licenses are copyright
licenses.  A copyright license can not require payment for use.  It
can only require payment for copying.  For example, once I own a book,
I can do anything I like with it, except copy it (there may also be
some restrictions on public performances).

Other than being non-free, I don't see much wrong with the scheme.
It's sort of like shareware with source code.  I don't know how well
it would work in practice.  There is an obvious free rider problem,
but there's no real way to compensate--increasing the price will just
increase the number of free riders.  I can't recall any programs which
have been distributed this way, although the idea has been discussed
before.

Ian