Richard Fontana wrote:
By "this" I think I mean "offering a more permissive
free software license
in return for money, with no other strings attached". That's essentially
the scenario, right? When has that ever been done though? (I am aware of
something arguably analogous to this but only involving the GPL.)
As am I, and we're probably thinking of the same company.
I think that proprietary relicensors would use this in practice if they
could. Heck, they could simply give the software under LGPL and it would
still defeat the strong copyleft of copyleft-next for a proprietary
I really think many customers aren't as savvy as you're thinking, because
in the anecdata I've been able to collect (since business negotiations are
private, unlike coyleft-next discussion ;), many customers
who bought licenses from the most aggressive proprietary reliensors generally
didn't even need them for the activities they wanted to do. They may often
not even *realize* they're getting the code itself under 2-Clause BSD, even
if the contract says so, just as customers of AGPL and/or GPL relicensors
didn't realize they were already in compliance if they they did what
they were planning.
If I was the would-be copyleft inequality vendor I wouldn't try
so reckless (from a business standpoint).
Not as your primary business, but possible as a side hustle. If the side
hustle went well, it might become the main business, just like happened
with MySQL, etc.
The vendor is banking on the customer being unlikely to exercise
rights because of, essentially, something akin to sunk costs?
Yes, but also remember they could drop the party as a customer if they *did*
redistribute the BSD version.
I guess the other argument for my change is it does make the license
shorter. :) Why do we really need to define proprietary license? Just
make it "any license except this license" and exclude 6(c) .. why not?
Also, I think Aaron Wolf makes some good points, although at least
one of them was a point I was trying to make, but better stated, so
that's not surprising that I like those comments. :)
And Richard, happy to discuss in person: HBR disclosures are fun to
Bradley M. Kuhn - he/him
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