[OSM-legal-talk] Rights granted to OSMF (Section 2 of the CT)

Simon Ward simon at bleah.co.uk
Mon Apr 18 22:41:29 BST 2011

On Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:12:24PM +0100, Rob Myers wrote:
> >“commercial” is ambiguous, and while I don’t expect “commercial“ use to
> >be restricted, I don’t think it needs to be explicitly stated.  Just
> >allow “any field of endeavour”.  KISS, etc.
> Since there are licences that explicitly exclude commercial use that
> used in projects branded "open" (OpenCourseWare being a particularly
> egregious example of this) it is worthwhile mentioning commercial
> use, however vague it is as a concept.

Next, we’ll all be jumping off a cliff because a few lemmings do it (but
they can swim), or just following the rest of the sheep.  Sometimes
that’s a godd thing, many free software licences have done without
mentioning commercial use, and other than by others spouting FUD they
have not restricted it either.

The only “restriction” I have seen is that some software developers
perceive reciprocal licences as a hindrance because the reciprocal
licenses prevent them from removing freedoms from the end user.

The GPL doesn’t explicitly mention “commercial” distribution (except for
when providing an offer of source code), but does say that charging for
the software is not excluded.  I think that is far less ambiguous.

The Apache licence v2 similarly doesn’t use the term “commercial”
(except in the limitation of liability clause), and mentions charging a
fee (for idemnity, warranty, among others).  It doesn’t explicitly
mention “commercial use” because it doesn’t need to.

Those are just two examples, there are many more.  If the CTs or license
must mention some form of “commercial” distribution, I would much
rather they explicitly say that you may charge a fee for distribution
than use the term “commercial”.

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a
simple system that works.—John Gall
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