Subject: RE: RPL 1.5 discussion
From: "Philippe Verdy" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 03:19:55 +0200

 Thu, 20 Sep 2007 03:19:55 +0200
> De : Chuck Swiger []
> Envoyé : jeudi 20 septembre 2007 02:43
> À : Scott Shattuck
> Cc : License Discuss
> Objet : Re: RPL 1.5 discussion
> On Sep 18, 2007, at 8:47 PM, Scott Shattuck wrote:
> > Chuck,
> >
> > First let me thank you for taking the time to review/comment. It's
> > great to see movement of any kind on this topic.
> You're most welcome, Scott.
> > On Sep 18, 2007, at 5:04 PM, Chuck Swiger wrote:
> >> Agreed-- one of the two big concerns I have over the RPL is the
> >> notion that you can't run your own modified version of the
> >> software without having to redistribute your changes, which is why
> >> the FSF considers it "non-free".  The exception for "personal use"
> >> in 1.11 restricts private commercial use unless one publishes
> >> those changes to the world.  This isn't strictly against the OSD
> >> #6, but it is coming closer than most copyleft licenses do.
> >
> > Understood, however while I agree it doesn't meet the needs of
> > those who are looking for an FSF-style license, this was the
> > motivation for creating the RPL to begin with. Were it not for the
> > RPL's distinction regarding what it means to "deploy", the GPL2
> > might well have served our needs.
> Ok.  That background isn't critical to the review of your license,
> but it is useful to understand why existing copyleft licenses don't
> suit your requirements.

Note that copyleft licences do not force any user modifying a covered work
to become a new distributor for these changes. The spirit of open-source and
copyleft licences is to also permit strictly personal use without having to
give back to others those changes you have made.

The only requirement is to give the source of your modifications to anyone
requesting it (not only those users to which you have provided a licence of
your modified version) if you decide to become a new distributor for any
implementation of your changes, even if this application is commercially

This means that proprietary code can be integrated within any opensourced or
copyleft program and remain secret, as long as you do not decide to
distribute your own private combined work. As soon as you distribute only
one version of the modified work with a valid licence for it to anyone, then
you are exposed to the licence requirements about source availability to
ANYONE requesting it. The existence of only one delivered valid licence to
someone else (including in the case where your private modified application
needs to be used by another legal entity resulting from the split of an
organization into two separate entities, or delivery of a licence to
subsidiaries) is enough to require making the sources available to anyone
(the requester does not need not justify that he got a licence himself for
the modified program, just to be able to prove that someone else got a valid
licence for those modifications, and that this licencing was legally
obtained, without being stolen or illegally exported if such legal
restrictions do exist).