Re: Abacus Portsentry License
> All distributed software, papers, and other works are free to use by
> any individual, organization, or commercial venture as long as the
> above conditions are agreed to. This software may be included with any
> freely distributed Operating System provided it is not sold separately
> or as part of a "security bundle" or similar packaging.
this is both non-free and lame. it does *not* prevent anybody from doing
anything that results in the software being sold... "hi, you can buy this os
with OR without foobar for only $1599.99, and we also sell just os cd's for
only $0.04" is perfectly valid by the licence. try to convince the author
that prohibiting sales on free software is useless due to the nice free
market economy present in most of the world, whereby something free will not
survive long if it's sold for more than nothing, especially if it requires
that its freeness be advertised. similarly distribution fees will be kept to
a minimum by competition and the fact that it costs approximately $0.42 to
burn a cd.
as for the restriction on modifications, if its only for "security purposes"
like he claims it is, he should realize how pointless this is. disallowing
mods will keep people like me from doing any work at all for him, while
doing something simple like requiring a namechange, or a changelog, or even
a semi-icky patch clause will be very safe and keep the pristine sources
around as long as the author wants to wait before incorporating them. more
free market goodness here.
basically, 99% of licences like this that aim to protect either the freeness
or the integrity of the software are products of paranoia: people assume
that their software will be sold or changed and passed off as original,
where history shows that this just does not happen. feel free to forward
this to the author, altho if he will require convincing i think i could make
some more eloquent arguments (as if rms hasn't already done enough). and if
you do convince him to choose a free licence, i suggest the YAL that was
posted to this list a while ago, because that provides patent licencing as
"For a price I'd do about anything, except pull the trigger: for that I'd
need a pretty good cause" -- Queensryche, "Revolution Calling"
PGP 5.0 key (0xE024447449) at http://cif.rochester.edu/~jpt/pubkey.txt