Subject: Re: Change ot topic, back to OVPL
From: David Barrett <>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 16:22:15 -0700

Wilson, Andrew wrote:
> You tell me: if I create an enhanced version of OVPL code and put it
> on my company's internal server, have I made it available?
> If the intention is to give the ID rights to demand only 
> externally-distributed Modifications, the definition of Licensed 
> Modification could easily be changed to say that explicitly.

Ahh, I think I see what you're saying.  In this case you're saying the
developer can deny changes to the public, but not to the ID -- and you
would find the requirement that the ID be given access when the public 
is not to be objectionable.

However, I'm not sure if this is true; so far as I know, once you make
*any* distribution, you need to make the source code available to
*everyone*.  In other words, the only way to deny *anyone* the source is
to deny *everyone* the source by not distributing your change, in any 
form.  Putting it on an internal server (presumably so others within the 
organization can obtain it) constitutes distribution, and thus requires 
public (to the world) source code release.

This is the case irrespective of the ID.  Even with the GPL, you can't 
make and internally distribute private changes because the process of 
"internal distribution" is -- by definition -- distribution.

(At least, this is what I was told by MySQL when I asked about how 
widely I could internally use private modifications to a MySQL server. 
They told me the GPL allowed me to make and use one server without 
releasing the source, but two or more constitutes distribution.)

Specifically, the relevant paragraph in the CDDL (which is taken 
verbatim by the OVPL) for public disclosure is (hacked up to highlight 
the relevent bits):

> 3.1.      Availability of Source Code.
> Any Covered Software that You distribute ... in Executable form must 
> also be made available in Source Code form... You must inform 
> recipients ... as to how they can obtain such Covered Software in 
> Source Code form...

This says the scope of your *notification* can be limited to recipients,
but it doesn't say that the scope of your *source code release* can be
likewise limited.  Said another way, nowhere does it hint you can deny
the source code to non-recipients.  Rather, it says that once you make
and distribute a modification, you must:

	1) make it available (presumably, to anyone who asks), and
	2) notify the recipients how to get the source

So, the only change introduced by the OVPL is to make an additional 

	3) notify the ID how to get the source

However, this only affects who you notify; not to whom you release.  And 
indeed, that doesn't seem terribly onerous.  In effect, the ID is 
basically treated like a recipient of any changes.  He's not given any 
special access, he's only notified when changes are made.

This just ensures that the ID knows about all the code to which he is 
legally entitled; it prevents developers from creating a secret fork to 
which the ID has his unique rights, but simply was never notified existed.

Now, you could argue that this notification right is unnecessary or 
objectionable, but that's a different debate.