Challenge with ABCL on a commercial project: Licensing

Steven Nunez steve_nunez at
Mon Aug 10 00:18:48 UTC 2020

 On Saturday, August 8, 2020, 6:10:03 PM GMT+8, Mark Evenson <evenson at> wrote: 
> On Aug 8, 2020, at 10:21, Steven Nunez <steve_nunez at> wrote:

>  BTW: it's not a matter of what I perceive, it's what the lawyers on both sides
>  of the contract perceive. I don't make the rules; I just obey them.

I think you mistate your own responsiblities and potential for agency.  You
certainly didn’t obey the rules of your contract when you prototyped software
with a forbidden license.  And now you attempting to persuade others to change
rules that you chose not to obey.

You are making several false assumptions here without any knowledge of the facts of my motivations, responsibilities or 'agency'. 

> Nevertheless, if you were willing to provide the necessary financial and legal
> resources, I would be ammendable to beginning such an effort that would somehow
> preserve the promised freedom that all previous contributors to ABCL have
> labored towards.  But from your not checking the ABCL license before you even
> entertained the notion of using it under such legal conditions, your having
> induced Alessio to provide a substantial contributions towards your desired
> usage, and to your new request for further unpaid work to utilize ABCL for your
> commercial contract, I fear that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of
> what working with “free” software actually entails.
> That's OK, I think I have my answer. I'm well aware of what it means to work with 'free' software, in all forms of 'free'. This wasn't intended to debate the philosophy or moral rights of software freedoms; it was intended to see if there was a practical solution to the use of ABCL in a commercial environment, given the contractual constraints. Providing 'financial and legal resources' isn't an option, so we'll end up following the path of least resistance. I just thought I'd put this out to the ABCL community to test the waters, and it's clear the waters are decidedly cold.

Describing my offer to be willing consider relicensing ABCL with proper
financial and legal support for the work it would entail is hardly “cold”.  If
you derive commercial value from something, you should be prepared to partake
in the externality costs involved in the creating the financial value you seek
to extract.

Perhaps it was your combative tone, demand for money and resources and jumping to false conclusions that lead me to say it was cold. The facts actually are that I gain no commercial value from using ABCL; only the day to day satisfaction of using a language that doesn't suck. I was willing to contribute my own personal time and effort to tracking down contributors and attempting to persuade them to agree to a license change, if there was interest.

[non-sequitur FreeBSD comments removed]

This conversation is over. Ville's message makes the conversation moot; not that it looked like it was ever going to be a constructive, rational discussion in the first place.

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