Subject: For Approval: CDDL - license stewardship
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 10:19:39 -0500

I want to start a new thread because I'm changing the subject.  And
yet it has to do with the CDDL approval process, hence the precise
composition of the subject.

The CDDL folks (Claire and Andrew) have raised a interesting point
with their use of the term 'license steward'.  Both the MPL and the
CDDL each state that you may re-license under subsequent versions.
The MPL names Netscape Communications Corporation as the author of new
versions, and the CDDL names Sun Microsystems.

So, why have we had so many re-submissions of the MPL?  Because it's a
good license that names Mozilla as a trademark you have no permission
to use?  Because it's a good license that names California Law and
Santa Clara County as venue?  Or because it's a good license that
gives Netscape Communications Corporation permission to change the
terms of the license?

I want to be clear that I'm not judging the MPL based on my opinion of
it.  I'm judging it by the fact that so many people have felt they had
to change specific names in it.

And then the next question to ask is "Is Sun submitting the CDDL as a
separate license rather than as a revision to the MPL because they
want to be license stewards?"  How should Netscape (and by implication
the Mozilla Foundation and by implication Mitchell) feel about this?
Does OSI want its powerhouse licenses to have outside stewards?  Or do
we want "the best" licenses to be given over to us to be stewards?

I've read the diffs between MPL and CDDL.  There is no change in
intent.  There's changes in wording, which Mitchell has expressed a
concern about, just as any programmer would be concerned if somebody
else has recoded a module of theirs, keeping the same API.  "What was
wrong with the old one?"  "Did you introduce any bugs?"

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