Subject: Re: rethinking open source?
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 14 Jun 2002 12:36:25 -0700

Jack Park <> writes:

> I got to thinking about this when I noticed the license Jason Hunter
> applies to the code that goes with his O'Reilly book.
> If I may paraphrase with out offending, I think it essentially says
> "This code is yours to enjoy, so long as you own the latest copy of my
> book."
> My question to those who have read this far is this:
> What holds others back from adopting such a license? Indeed, what
> holds the open source community back from taking a similar view?  As I
> understand it, if you want the documentation to JBoss, you must buy it
> (I did).
> Is this line of thinking interesting, useful?

I assume you mean a license along the lines of ``Anybody who owns this
book is free to use this code for personal use.''

There's nothing wrong with such a license, but the software is not
free or open source.  The license doesn't pass the most obvious test
of free/open-source software: can I modify it and share the
modifications with my friend (assuming my friend doesn't own the

On the other hand, you can certainly have free software but charge for
a book which documents it.  Of course, somebody else might write and
distribute documentation; that is, you couldn't force people to buy
your book rather than somebody else's.

If you meant some other sort of license, I apologize for the
misunderstanding, and perhaps you can clarify.