Re: SUMMARY: Solaris 2.2 licensing

From: Rob Rosell (
Date: Mon Jun 21 1993 - 09:58:48 CDT

Disclaimer: I'm not a laywer either, and I haven't had a lot of experience
dealing with vendor software licenses. I don't know the specifics of the
new SUN software licensing for Solarsis 2.1 other than what I have learned
from this thread... So from what I have learned reading this thread, this
is what I think.

In article <>
(Barry Margolin) writes:
> I don't see why people think this licensing stuff is so wrong, except that
> they're spoiled by the lax licenses that Sun offered in the past. They're
> simply asking you to pay more if you're getting more functionality out of a
> system. If a hundred machines in the network are mounting a workstation's
> file systems then it's providing much more functionality than if it didn't
> export its file systems. It's being "used" by the hundred users of those
> clients, so why shouldn't they count as users for the purpose of licensing?

        Well, it's not "wrong", it's perfectly legal... But because
somethings legal, and "not wrong" doesn't make it a good idea. I
think that software licensing in general is makes sense. (when not
taken to extremes...) It makes sense that a company selling a Word
Processor should be able to expect that only one user will use it at a
time... But for a multi-user OS, (something that is designed to be
multiuser, operate as a server, etc...) it doesn't seem as reasonable
to charge extra for the OS to support more than one user or operate as
a server. Somebody else mentioned that the main problem with this
licensing is that it's misleading. I think that's true. (i.e. people
think they're getting more than what they are, then they find out they
have to pay more to use their new computer as a server)

        As for a user paying more to get more funtionality out of what
they buy... Imagine if Ford put a device on their engines that
wouldn't let the car drive more than 1000 miles per month unless the
owner purchased a special "extended-driving" license, for a few
thousand dollars extra. Or what if Ford restricted the number of
people who could ride in the car at once (you have to pay more if you
want people to be able to ride in the back seat) That doesn't make
much sense does it? People expect to be able to use what they buy.
Why shouldn't that apply to Computer Hardware and the Operating
Systems that run on them as well?

My opinions are my own, and only my own. copyright 1993 :-)
Robert D. Rosell | INTERNET:
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