Subject: Re: OVPL Summary, Take 3
From: Alex Bligh <>
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2005 12:57:49 +0100

--On 17 September 2005 21:57 -0700 Ben Tilly <> wrote:

> The concern that I saw is that the OVPL allows the ID to go on
> "fishing expeditions", making requests of people just to see what
> you'll find.  I haven't been following closely enough to see whether
> this has been addressed.

The response was (in brief form):
1.In any reciprocal license (i.e. where it is conditional on the licensee
  performing meaningful obligations), the licensor can "go on a fishing
  trip" - e.g. under the GPL the licensor can say "we have reason to believe
  you have distributed a binary without accompanying it with source and
  without making source publicly available"; the licensor cannot prove
  this WITHOUT going on a fishing trip. But fishing trips are expensive,
  especially where there is no contractual right to such information (i.e.
  they are setting out to prove breach of contract / license term
  necessarily without the information sufficient to show this). The OVPL
  is no worse in this respect: in both instances the compliant licensee
  can happily ignore the fishing trip.
2.The new "fishing trip" opportunity is 3.3 (the license back). Such a
  fishing trip can never find anything where no works are selectively
  distributed (i.e. where everything that is distributed is also made
  generally publicly available), or where anything that is selectively
  distributed is subsequently made generally publicly available (provided
  a date for distribution is given). So a fishing trip can be ended either
  by responding "we have not selectively distributed" or (as the case
  may be) simply by saying "look, it's all on that FTP server over there -
  it may not have been before, but it is now".  Now OF COURSE the ID
  may not believe that, but the licensor may not believe the licensee
  has complied with any term under any other license (see (1) above).