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Re: Is the OPL DFSG-ok?

"Marcelo E. Magallon" <mmagallo@efis.ucr.ac.cr> quotes a license:

> You may not charge a fee for the sole service of
> providing access to and/or use of the OC via a network (e.g. the
> Internet), whether it be via the world wide web, FTP, or any other
> method.

This is non-free.

The clause was probably put there because the authors donot like the
idea of someone "making a profit" from their work. However, as long as
*someone* (e.g., the authors) makes the program available for free
download it is highly unlikely that *anyone* would be able to make
a profit from selling download rights.

Thus reality itself would probably protect the authors' intentions
just as well as a non-free could do.

In any case *if* someone sometime could make a profit from offering
restricted download of free software, the reason people would pay him
for download privileges must be related to his investment in fast
servers, good net connections, well-informed choice of software to
offer, or other things that gives the customer a tangible benefit
compared to downloading it from a gratis server. In this case the
fee would be morally equivalent to costs to cover media, shipping
and handling when selling physical copies of software; and software
that didn't allow this kind of value addition would not be truly free.

Otherwise than that, the license looks just like a simplified GPL clone
to me.

Henning Makholm

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