Subject: Re: Are implicit dual-licensing agreements inherently anti-open?
From: David Barrett <>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 20:00:29 -0700

Matthew Seth Flaschen wrote:
> David Barrett wrote:
>> If the 10 principles are our guide, I see no requirement for 
>> same-license code merging, and thus I think it's ok.
> I think blocking that would violate 3, which requires allowing 
> derivative works.  A merged program is a derivative of both original 
> ones, and therefore must be allowed by each original program's license.

(Matthew -- I'm assuming you intended to post this to the list, so I'm 
replying to the list.  Sorry if this was intented to be private!)

Well, I disagree in two ways.  The first is that two licenses with 
different Initial Developers are in fact two separate licenses.  I mean, 
how can they be the same license if they are legally different (ie, 
assign different rights to different people)?  This strict definition of 
license is compatible with your strict definition of Open Source.

However, my second disagreement is with your definition of Open Source. 
  I don't dispute that it's a valid viewpoint.  But I think there are 
other viewpoints that are also valid, and that many of them are 
compatible with the third principle of OSI.  To quote:

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.

     Rationale: The mere ability to read source isn't enough to support 
independent peer review and rapid evolutionary selection. For rapid 
evolution to happen, people need to be able to experiment with and 
redistribute modifications.

By my reading, it doesn't explicitly speak to the issue of merging 
separate works that happen to use the same license, and it certainly 
doesn't address the issue of Initial Developers.  So at best, it's 
unclear.  I think your definition of Open Source is compatible with it, 
as is mine, as are surely others.