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From "Roy T. Fielding" <field...@gbiv.com>
Subject Re: [Request For Comment] Third-Party Licensing Policy
Date Thu, 16 Mar 2006 19:30:16 GMT
On Mar 15, 2006, at 1:34 PM, William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:
> Jim Jagielski wrote:
>> On Mar 15, 2006, at 1:05 PM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>>> The license we use to do that changes over time.
>> "changes"? Refines, yes. But are you suggesting that
>> a "change" to a GPL-type license would be acceptable?
>> I don't. There are some ground-rules.
> LOL - I was thinking the same thing reading the first-post, has Roy
> been smoking some copyleft leaves?  I trust - no :)  Within the  
> general
> spirit of the ASL language, some things I expect should -not- change
> over time.

Heh, no, but keep in mind that I've been working with these licenses
for years now and am frequently involved in the process of creating  


Copyleft is not just GPL -- it is the notion of reciprocal terms in
general.  GPL is contrary to our principles because it forces others
to change the terms on their work just because it is combined with
a work under GPL.  MPL 1.1 was specifically designed to only apply
reciprocal terms to changes within the covered work, and CDDL improves
on that to make the executable forms distributable under any license
provided that the covered code is also distributed (separately) as
source code.

Thus, we can use CDDL within trade secret applications, assuming that
the secret part isn't already in the CDDL covered code
(which can be assumed because it is supposed to be secret).

As a result, I think CDDL does a better job of preserving "Apache
principles" than our own license.  MPL has a problem in that it is
too complicated for non-lawyers to understand.  CDDL improved on
that significantly.  I particularly like the fact that the CDDL
defines that the source code form remains under CDDL even if the
executable forms are sublicensed.  That allows big companies to
preserve their master contracts with customers, while at the same
time preserving our own code as open source.

In fact, the only problem I know of with CDDL for open source is
that, like most licenses, it isn't GPL-compatible.  I don't believe
that is even relevant now, since the only way to become GPL compatible
is to (dual-)license under GPL.  The only reason the FSF claims that
MIT/BSD licensed code is "compatible" with GPL is because those
licenses allow the dual-license to be applied automatically.

The Apache License 2.0, in contrast, has a number of problems due
to my misguided attempts to make it GPL-compatible and too much leeway
given to relicense derivative works.  However, it also influenced the
wording in CDDL, so most of what we were looking for in a 2.0 license
can be found in CDDL.  The only way I can improve on AL2 is to remove
the sections on contributions/patent and formalize the now-standard
practice of requiring contributor agreements, reducing our distribution
license back to a BSD-style license plus NOTICE retention.

In my opinion, the ASF should allow its products to be distributed
under either AL2 or CDDL.  I don't give a rat's ass what people
think about the "Apache brand" being associated with BSD-style code,
since I don't consider the difference to be relevant to our users.
CDDL is just as good, if not better, for open development.


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