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On Tue, 9 Mar 1999 david@wiley.byu.edu wrote:

> Debain-legal folks,
> Hi there. David Wiley from OpenContent here. Let me begin by saying,
> 'boy am I glad to hear from you.'

Good.  We're glad to hear from you, too!

> Several months ago I was trying to gather support for (translation: find
> people actually willing to work on) improving the first version of the
> OPL. Several people said they were interested, but when I started asking
> people to actually read and write everyone somehow disappeared. 

That happens in this world.  The other side of the coin is that, just when
you're not expecting it, someone gets interested in your project again.

> I am extremely interested in improving the OPL, and would be wide open
> to participating in some kind of committee or group in order to improve
> it. It sounds as if Debian is actually interested in this kind if
> effort. If so, let's get the ball rolling. 

Well, the main comments so far were:

1) The language is imprecise (I'l let people pick nits in more detail

2) The restriction on charging for net access is not useful, and would
make the document DFSG non-free.

I'm going to quote at you a section of someone else's message which
explained this coherently:

Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> writes: 

"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.

----------- (end of henning's message).

The point here is there is no need to enforce this restriction.

Let's suppose that I write 'Jules' JavaSpace API', an API for using Java
to control space-stations.  I license it under the OPL. Sun realise that
it's brilliant, and steal, it, modify it, and charge $1000 for anyone to
see it.

However, since it's OPLed, the first person that sees it can put it up for
free on his website - so no harm done..


|  Jelibean aka  | jules@jellybean.co.uk         |  6 Evelyn Rd	       |
|  Jules aka     | jules@debian.org              |  Richmond, Surrey   |
|  Julian Bean   | jmlb2@hermes.cam.ac.uk        |  TW9 2TF *UK*       |
|  War doesn't demonstrate who's right... just who's left.             |
|  When privacy is outlawed... only the outlaws have privacy.          |

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