Subject: RE: OVPL - wrap-up of objections
From: Alex Bligh <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 20:47:47 +0100

--On 21 July 2005 12:27 -0700 "Wilson, Andrew" <> 

>> I'm still trying to understand why the OVPL counts as 'pay to play'
>> but the GPL does not. Is it the fundamental asymmetry that bothers
>> you?
> yes.
>> What if, for example, OVPL required that all modifications be
>> published publicly under a BSD license?  Would that be 'in keeping
>> with open source principles'?
> yes.

Hmmm... this is a very interesting idea. I shall think some more on this.
Can I check we are on the same lines here, Andrew. What I *think*
Ernest is proposing (and you are OK with) is the following.

Where a contributor distributes or otherwise makes available Modifications,
an additional BSD-style license is granted (to anyone) to use the
the IPR in the modification.

It has the great advantage that it would probably allow the second half
of the first sentence (after "ALWAYS PROVIDED THAT" to be deleted).

There are two nits I can see here:
a) The License still has to cope with the "selective distribution" problem.
   Who can ask the person practicing selective distribution for the source?
   (an example of selective distribution is distributing modified source
   code to a single person). We've limited this to the ID, mainly in order
   to provide certainty and prevent DoS on the distributor; I think this
   could remain (without offending the principle you are protecting)
   provided that any such material 'discovered' by the ID was published
   and made generally available.

b) This would presumably only apply to Modifications (and not to the
   Original Code) and thus also not to Contributions made by the ID
   (which it would be odd to treat differently). Essentially it would
   be saying "you have the right to modify this code, providing if you
   distribute the modifications, you dual license those modifications
   under a BSD license to the maximum extent you can". This would lead to
   a BSD-style license on the modifications, but not to the underlying
   work. This is not necessarily a problem, but *might* not actually
   do what you want in practice. For instance, if someone submits a
   one-line patch to a file, it isn't going to make the whole file BSD
   licensed. What use is the one line patch alone? If, on the other hand,
   someone contributes an entire new module, it could be useful.

Hmmm... much to think about.