Subject: Re: OVPL and the OSI Board on Thursday
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 18:24:30 -0400

Alex Bligh writes:
 > I would certainly like to see it closer to the CDDL (i.e. have the CDDL
 > folks incorporate some changes - we don't really want to back changes out
 > as we feel they are necessary but perhaps the CDDL folks disagree) - not
 > least as it would be easier to explain a smaller set of differences.

 > However, if this doesn't happen, I don't see it's a reason not to approve
 > the OVPL (for reasons of preventing license proliferation). Because even if
 > all the "drafting" changes were incorporated into the CDDL, there would
 > STILL need to be two licenses.

You are writing the OVPL from your perspective: you want the best
license for yourself.  Perfectly understandable.  We, on the other
hand, have a responsibility to more people than just yourself.  I've
spoken to multiple parties at large corporations, and all of them feel
it necessary to run every open source license past their lawyers to
make sure their use gibes with the license.

At some point, they're going to put their foot down and say "Here is
our list of licenses.  If you want us to use your software, you will
use one of these licenses."  If we continue to increase the number of
approved licenses, they WILL do this.  I think we can only add a
limited amount of complexity to the open source licensing world before
people will start to rebel.

 > Moreover, if they are reasonably happy with the CDDL, I would entirely
 > sympathize with them not wanting to have a CDDL 1.0 and a CDDL 1.1
 > hanging around which are in essence different only to the degree of
 > drafting changes. If anything, *that's* unnecessary proliferation.

No, not at all.  Both the OVPL and CDDL have a "successor" clause
which allows users to relicense under a later version.  So, somebody
concerned about the cost and difficulty of license reviewing could
review the simpler CDDL 1.1 and OVPL 1.1 (which incorporates the CDDL
1.1 changes), and relicense any incoming 1.0 code under the 1.1

 > I will also undertake that if the CDDL folks do perform a retrofit of any
 > "drafting" changes, I will keep the diff up to date (i.e. make it shrink).
 > However, if you look through, I think you will find that this element of
 > the changes is actually the smaller, because we have been very reluctant to
 > make changes for the sake of it (and consequently rejected a number of
 > proposed drafting 'improvements' that were not 100% necessary).

Good.  I'll suspend your approval request until we hear back from you
on the results of this process.  Or, you can split out the CDDL
improvements from the OVPL changes, and submit the latter.  The CDDL
changes can be made later.

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