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Re: Termination clauses, was: Choice of venue

David Nusinow <david_nusinow@verizon.net> writes:

> On Sat, Jul 17, 2004 at 02:02:03AM -0400, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
>> You brought up promises as fees, not me.  The fees compelled by the
>> QPL are in the form of licenses to the initial author and distribution
>> to him, not promises to obey the license.
> Actually it was MJ Ray who applied the promisary definition to the idea of a
> fee, and I was trying to see whether or not that definition really seems to
> hold with our interpretation of the freeness. As it is, I see that definition
> as conflicting with any sort of non-public domain software because it implies
> some sort of behavioral constraints upon the lessor (which constitute a
> promise). What then defines the term fee such that the GPL does not demand one
> where the QPL does?

A fee is a thing of value which must be given in payment for some
return.  That is, I must incur a cost in paying it, and the recipient
should benefit from it.

For example, the QPL's demand for a permissive license for the initial
author is a fee.  The license has value, and I may not make
modifications without granting it.  I incur a cost, loss of control.
The recipient benefits greatly.

The GPL's requirement that I distribute source with any binaries I
distribute is not a fee.  My distribution of source with binaries has
negligible cost to me, so is not a fee.  The GPL's requirement that I
give a license to any recipient does have a cost to me, but I receive
no benefit from it, so it is not a fee.

>> There is a promise -- a contract -- which comes into existence when I
>> distribute modifications.  I promise to hold copies of those forever
>> in order to supply the initial author with copies on request.
> So is the timeframe (i.e. forever) important?

Well, somewhat.  After all, a requirement that I retain all
modifications for three milliseconds would be so negligable as to be

Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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