Subject: Re: Charging the Charger
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 13:24:11 +0900

>>>>> "Marshall" == Marshall W Van Alstyne <marshall@MIT.EDU> writes:

At 09:42 PM 4/11/2005, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

    >> You can give as much extra as you want, of course.  But the
    >> code must always be one component.

    Marshall> Respectfully, I disagree here.

As a matter of economic and social policy, I do, too.  (Note my
closing salutation, and my .sig.)  But giving back in the form of
unencumbered source-included code is the definitional principle of
free (as opposed to open source) software.

I expect that your license will be judged free according to the FSF
and OSI definitions.  But the downstream licensee will most definitely
not be using a free license when selling his/her product, and the
license you propose will tend to crowd out "pure" copyleft in a
contractual analog to Gresham's Law.  I don't think free software
advocates will consider that a good thing.

And it's quite plausible that under the right (wrong?) conditions your
license could cause the quality gap (as perceived by the paying
customers) between free software and proprietary software to increase.
Would that bother you?  I'm sure it would bother many free software
advocates.

-- 
School of Systems and Information Engineering http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.