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From Jeffrey Thompson <jt...@us.ibm.com>
Subject RE: virality of IBM's CPL ?
Date Wed, 26 Jul 2006 19:53:41 GMT
"Jim Barnett" <jimb@bea.com> wrote on 07/25/2006 07:04:37 PM:

> Not mentioning "derivative work" does not necessarily mean that
> preparation of derivative works is prohibited by the MPL/CDDL.   The
> MPL/CDDL family does not expressly prohibit you from preparing
> derivatives and the broad MPL/CDDL license grant covers acts that can
> (but do not always) result in the creation of derivative works. 

I think you're making a distinction that doesn't really create a 
difference.  If you end up in a jurisdiction that recognizes non-literal 
substantial similarity as a derivative work, under the CPL/EPL, you have 
clear rights to distribute that with the price that if its really a 
derivative work, you'll need to distribute the source under CPL/EPL.

I would be concerned with your interpretation of the CDDL/MPL, that if you 
exclude those non-literal substantial similarities from the definition of 
Modification, then the right to distribute is in question since you only 
have the right to distribute Original Code and Modifications (potentially 
with other, unrelated code).  If the court recognizes it as a derivative 
and accepts your argument that it isn't a Modification, then what is it? 
Where is the distribution right?

So, I would expect that if challenged, the CDDL/MPL user will acknowledge 
that all derivative works are covered in the definition of "Modification" 
-- that the reference to "Any new file that contains any part of the 
Original Software" includes those situations where the copyright law says 
new code is a derivative of the Original Software though something akin to 
non-literal copying.  Otherwise, they have no right to distribute it at 

Am I missing something?


Staff Counsel, IBM Corporation  (914)766-1757  (tie)8-826  (fax) -8160
(notes) jthom@ibmus  (internet) jthom@us.ibm.com (home) jeff@beff.net
(web) http://www.beff.net/ 

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