Subject: Are implicit dual-licensing agreements inherently anti-open?
From: David Barrett <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 21:22:39 -0700

I guess my big question is:

Is it fundamentally "not open" to license source code in such a fashion 
that the initial developer has the additional right to relicense the 
code and all modifications under any license of his choosing, at any 
future date?

We've determined that it "is open" to do this in two stages: by first 
releasing under any license (such as the GPL) and then executing 
separate "contributor agreements" on an individual basis.

But my question is if combining these two steps into a single license 
somehow "crosses the line" between open-ness and non-open-ness.  If you 
believe it does, then which of the OSI principles do you think such a 
license would violate?  Based on my reading, I see no conflict with the 
two relevant clauses:
3. Derived Works
The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow 
them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the 
original software.

7. Distribution of License
The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program 
is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license 
by those parties.

I don't dispute, there are "more open" licenses than the one I propose. 
  And I further acknowledge that some might be unwilling or 
uncomfortable to submit code under these terms.  But it's not my goal 
here to convince you otherwise.

It is my goal, however, to determine if what I want to do is 
fundamentally incompatible with the principles of the OSI.  Once I 
determine this, then I can decide on the next step.