Subject: Re: OVPL and open ownership
From: David Barrett <>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 16:24:44 -0700

Chris Zumbrunn wrote:
> On Jul 26, 2005, at 6:21 PM, Alex Bligh wrote:
>> The MPL and (I think) the CDDL (I haven't looked for others) materially
>> differentiate between the ID and subsequent contributors - see past
>> messages. Granted, not so much as the QPL or the OVPL, but nevertheless
>> they do.
> In which way do the MPL or CDDL "materially differentiate" between the 
> ID and subsequent contributors? The way I see it they make almost no 
> differentiation at all when compared with the OVPL. Which past messages 
> are you referring to?

Granted, one interpretation of the OSI principles would forbid any 
distinction.  However, clearly this isn't the interpretation the OSI is 
using, so it's a moot argument.  This isn't a debate occurring in a 
vacuum, and it wasn't some random OSI oversight; the OSI has approved 
not just one, but multiple licenses that draw this distinction.

Given that, you could still argue that "yes to distinguish between 
contributors and the initial developer is ok, but the OVPL goes much 
further than any other".  This is obviously true; indeed, it's the whole 
reason the OVPL is was proposed.  If the OVPL were nearly the same as 
the MPL or CDDL, it would be rejected as being too similar.

Now you could further argue that "yes to distinguish between 
contributors and the initial developer is ok, and the OVPL certainly 
goes sufficiently far to warrant a new license, but the OVPL goes too 
far."  And that's a valid opinion too.  But it's not clear that it's the 
OSI's opinion.

Personally, I believe it'd be rather disingenuous were the OSI to take 
the position that it's ok to dual license code, but only if contributor 
agreements are made unnecessarily hard.  It seems difficult to support 
the argument that dual licensing is ok, and to acknowledge that the end 
result of the OVPL is equivalent to collecting contributor agreements, 
but reject the OVPL because it makes it "too easy".

On the other hand, if you disagree that the end effect of the OVPL is 
equivalent to a typical dual licensing approach (just with less 
paperwork), I'd be eager to hear why.