Subject: Re: OSI-approved license that assigns contributor copyright to me
From: Alex Bligh <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 12:42:39 +0100



The OVPL is a modern license that does what you want I think. We are
in the process of applying for OSI approval. If you think the license
should be approved, please drop a note to this list.


--On 10 July 2005 02:07 -0700 David Barrett <> wrote:

> I've developed an application from scratch, and thus I own the copyright
> on the entire codebase.  I'd like to dual-license the codebase, once
> under an OSI-approved open-souce license, and a second time under a
> commercial license.  Naturally the question is how to incorporate code
> contributed under the OSI license into my commercial release.
> For maximum flexibility, I would like to have the OSI license require
> contributors to transfer ownership of the copyright of their contributed
> code to me, thus enabling me to re-license it just as my own.  In this
> way, I retain total ownership over the copyright of the entire codebase,
> whether written by me or not.
> Is there an OSI license that does this, or nearly this?
> Reading through the list, it appears the QPL (Qt Public License) is the
> nearest.  However, (so far as I can tell -- it's rather complex) it
> doesn't explicitly transfer ownership over the copyright back to the
> "initial developer".  Indeed, the key paragraph is:
> ----
> b. When modifications to the Software are released under this license, a
> non-exclusive royalty-free right is granted to the initial developer of
> the Software to distribute your modification in future versions of the
> Software provided such versions remain available under these terms in
> addition to any other license(s) of the initial developer.
> ----
> Overall I find the entire license a bit confusing (who is the 'initial
> developer'?  Linus?  Charles Babbage?) and more complicated than I would
> think is necesasry.  Rather, I think the essential clauses would include
> something like:
> 1) You can modify the software so long as you give up all rights to the
> modification and immediately assign ownership of the modification's
> copyright to David Barrett
> 2) You can redistribute the compiled software so long as you make
> available for download the uncompiled source code
> 3) You can redistribute the modified or unmodified software in uncompiled
> souce code form so long as it is complete, non-obfuscated, blah blah
> legalese
> Is there an OSI license that accomplishes this in a more straightforward
> and deliberate fashion than the QPL?  Thanks!
> -david