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MPL nominal charge for source code

MPL nominal charge for source code

Posted Jan 8, 2011 21:15 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
In reply to: MPL nominal charge for source code by gerv
Parent article: Mozilla releases a beta of the revised MPL

Brevity, or perhaps more to the point, simplicity, is a good goal. If it's important enough, I suggest replacing "at no more than a nominal charge" with "at no charge." That's brief, simple, and probably would not make the license much less useful.

But if it's important to extend the license to people who charge for source code, then my suggestion would have to depend on what kind of charge the authors had in mind (I'm pretty sure it wasn't a nominal one). If my guess is correct that they want to accomodate charging for the cost of distribution and not for anything else, then I suggest, "for no charge other than the cost of creating and delivering the copy."


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MPL nominal charge for source code

Posted Jan 8, 2011 22:52 UTC (Sat) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

so you say that companies must pay for mailing costs, CD costs, etc and cannot charge _anything_ for this?

if you make a license with this restriction, you will find that many companies are not going to be willing to use that license

MPL nominal charge for source code

Posted Jan 9, 2011 0:26 UTC (Sun) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

so you say that companies must pay for mailing costs, CD costs, etc and cannot charge _anything_ for this?

Well, let's word it more clearly: I say that if companies have to pay for mailing costs, CD costs, etc. when they supply source code and can't charge anything for this, companies will still license code to and from others with MPL.

The main reason I believe that is that they can avoid those costs just by distributing the source code on the Internet or including it somehow with the object code. How often does an open source software distributor distribute source code by a separate CD today?

However, I suspect that even if a mailed CD is the only way to distribute source code, a company of any size would still not balk at paying for it, because there would be a very small number of requests.

MPL nominal charge for source code

Posted Jan 10, 2011 3:33 UTC (Mon) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106) [Link]

Why not simply say "at cost"? That seems more in line with the author's intent: distributors can charge recipients (at most) the actual cost of providing a copy. Or, to give distributors a profit-based motive to point out that source code is available, perhaps something like "up to 5% over cost".

MPL nominal charge for source code

Posted Jan 10, 2011 3:43 UTC (Mon) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

The problem with a simple "at cost" is that that can reasonably be interpreted to include the cost of developing the code. It's probably worth a few extra words to make sure those costs are excluded.


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