Subject: Re: OSI-approved license that assigns contributor copyright to me
From: David Barrett <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 20:46:55 -0700

Alex Bligh wrote:
> 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.

I looked over the OVPL, but it seems larger and more complicated than I
am looking for.  Rather, I'm looking for a more basic statement that can 
be comprehended by a non-lawyer, while still remaining binding. Here's a 
second draft of essentially what I want:

1) The "software" includes all files bearing this license, as well as
    all files listed in LICENSE.txt.

2) The "unmodified form" of the software is the form in which you obtain
    it directly from David Barrett.

3) You may use and redistribute the software in its unmodified form.

4) You may add to or modify the software so long as you:
    a. Add this license to each new file, or add the new file to

    b. Leave this license unchanged in all files, and remove no files
       from LICENSE.txt.

    c. Assign ownership of the copyright over the newly-added or modified
       material to David Barrett.

    d. Make no addition nor modification including material to which you
       do not own the copyright, that depends on material outside of the
       software, or that causes the modified software to infringe upon
       any intellectual property or licensing rights of any other party.

    e. Agree in the future to immediately notify David Barrett should you
       discover or suspect that your modification or addition cannot be
       licensed under these terms.

5) You may redistribute the software in its modified form so long as:
    a. You first submit your modifications to David Barrett.

    b. You clearly indicate to the end user of the software that it is in
       a modified form (ie, has not been directly obtained from David

    c. You make the the modified software available by public download in
       an uncompiled form.

6) You may not use any file in the software as a component in anything
    other than the software itself.

Or something like that.  Is there truly no existing OSI license that
accomplishes something like this?  This seems like a straightforward way
to grant open-source rights to contributors while maintaining maximum
dual-license opportunities for the original author.

Alex Bligh wrote:
> From an open-source point of view, OSI definition aside, if you are 
> going to get people to contribute modifications (and without that, 
> something is open-source merely in name) you will need to come to an 
> equitable arrangement which balances the rights of the contributor 
> and the ID, and in practical terms, the nearer the extremes you go, 
> the less likely that is to be the case.

I agree, but of course "equitable" is in the eye of the beholder.  It's
not my goal here to convince you to contribute under these terms, or
even that others will.  Rather, I'm asking if such an OSI-approved
license already exists, and if not, advice on how to craft a license
that accomplishes my objectives.

As for OSI principles, I don't believe my above goals conflict with any
of the 10 criteria listed at:

To repeat, my goal is to enable immediate open-source distribution of my 
application while maintaining maximum opportunity for future dual-licensing.