Subject: Re: Are implicit dual-licensing agreements inherently anti-open?
From: Alex Bligh <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 09:56:32 +0100


--On 20 July 2005 14:43 -0700 David Barrett <> wrote:

> Alex Bligh wrote:
>> The written request of the ID bit (to which Andrew Wilson refers) thus is
>> only relevant to Licensed Modifications which are NOT made generally
>> available to the public at large (i.e. those selectively distributed). In
>> this instance (only), the ID can ask for details of those modifications.
>> This was a formulation we came up in response to some response on this
>> list.
> Yes, this makes sense.  Thus if a contributor makes a modification and
> only distributes it selectively (such as to people who pay him money),
> the ID can still request the modifications.
> However, can *only* the ID request them?  For example, if you are the ID,
> and Bob makes some semi-private (ie, selectively distributed)
> modifications, can I -- as just an ordinary contributor -- request Bob's
> modified source code?

No, not as currently drafted.

> I would think that in the spirit of openness, anyone should be able to
> request them (thus the ID needn't be the sole protector of open
> redistribution of contributor modifications).

I understand the comment, but that isn't generally the way reciprocal
licenses work - this way a modifier who selectively distributes has to be
on their guard only for notices from one person (the ID). Under your
formulation, they could be subject to what lawyers would call onerous
notification obligations and techies would call a denial of service attack,
because the modifier has no way of verifying whether or not a person
claiming to be a contributor is actually a contributor. That applies
equally to the OVPL or any other reciprocal license framed with the
modification you suggest.

I'm thus loathe to go much further than existing reciprocal licenses here.