Re: Objective Caml 2.03/4 released

From: skaller (
Date: Sat Dec 04 1999 - 18:46:36 MET

Date: Sun, 05 Dec 1999 04:46:36 +1100
From: skaller <>
Subject: Re: Objective Caml 2.03/4 released

I have just read the LICENCE conditions for ocaml 2.04, and I'm
seriously concerned, I may be forced to stay with the more
liberal licence of 2.02.

Why was such a grossly restrictive, anti-freedom licence chosen?
Or do I mis-understand it?

I've been working on a product using ocaml for some time,
and I need to make money out of it. The new licence seems
to preclude this, forcing me to give away my source.

Even worse, my clients will not accept this licence,
which I would be forced to pass on. The product
is an interpreter/compiler for Python, which is
'free for any use'. My understanding of the 2.02 licence
was that it was also free for any use (provided INRIA
is acknowlegded).

There was, some time in the past, a discussion
about persuading management to switch to ocaml.
The new licence is a guarrantee it will NEVER be used
for serious software development. No one can afford
to develop a production quality software, and then
be forced to give the it away.

The impact on research is serious: no serious researcher
could sensibly commit to using ocaml for any kind of
valuable project, since it could not be commericalised
without a total rewrite.

As it happens, it is my desire to provide the my product
'free for any use', but I need that to be my decision,
since I have to generate income to live on somehow.

I think there is a gross misunderstanding of 'freedom'
here. Do we want 'free software' to consist of a combination
of code submitted by amateurs, and people employed by
institutions, most of which are funded by theft (taxation)?
Why are people that expect to work on software and actually
get paid for it by the users, being discriminated against?

Please tell me I don't have to go back to using C++. :-(

John Skaller,
10/1 Toxteth Rd Glebe NSW 2037 Australia
voice: 61-2-9660-0850

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