Subject: Re: For Approval: Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL)
From: John Cowan <>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 08:26:47 -0500

Mitchell Baker scripsit:

> Sun new license may ultimately prove to be an improvement.  It may not.  
> Sun's experience may not represent those of the entire open source 
> community.  Some of the changes may sit well with one constituency and 
> not another.  The patent changes are one example.  I've heard that some 
> people don't want to use the Sun Public License (a clone of the MPL) 
> because they feel that the patent protection offered to those who 
> contribute code to the project is too strong.  That's a fine view and 
> it's fine for Sun to wrote a license that strikes a different patent 
> balance.  It's fine for Sun to strike a different balance for any number 
> of reasons.  But that new balance may *not* be better for the open 
> source community at large.  It may favor large patent holders for 
> example.  It may work better in practice, or it may not.  We don't know 
> But to assume that because some of  Sun's  partners want different 
> terms doesn't mean that the MPL is seriously flawed.  (The MPL is 
> undoubtedly imperfect and is in need of updating, I agree with this.)  I 
> also understand that there have been suggestions for changes to the 
> patent balance Sun initially struck.  One again, these may be good 
> changes.  They may work well in practice.  They may not.  
> This rush to judgment is extraordinary to me.

Note that the above conflates Russell and me.  I never would apply the
term "seriously flawed" to the MPL; I think it has flaws, but not
serious ones.  However, I do think that the CDDL is an advance on it.

Values of beeta will give rise to dom!          John Cowan
(5th/6th edition 'mv' said this if you tried
to rename '.' or '..' entries; see