License Counseling

David Johnson david at
Tue Aug 28 02:01:12 UTC 2001

On Monday 27 August 2001 05:53 am, Daniel MD wrote:

> I wish to release the program to the world, make it open source, everything
> is modifiable program and documentation, but other developer's have to
> report the modifications to me (the founding member) by sending me a copy
> of the modified program or/and application/documentation

There are no Open Source licenses that exactly meet this criteria, because of 
the requirement to submit modifications to the original developer.

Submitting mods to the developer may pass the Open Source definition, but the 
community will have great resistance to this. It's also a very risky thing 
for the user to consider. What if you change your address (or get hit by a 
bus). Does the user have to stop modifying the software because they cannot 
locate you? Do their rights disappear when you do?

I would suggest, speaking as a user of software that I might wish to modify, 
that you change your requirement on modifications.

Here's one possible solution: dual license with an Open Source license and a 
commercial license. The Open Source license would require modifications to be 
available to subsequent users and the commercial license would require them 
to be sent directly to you if the derived product is not itself Open Source.

In actual practice, Open Source developers will send you their modifications. 
With the commercial half of the dual license, anyone not willing or able to 
publish their modifications would at least have to send them to you.

David Johnson

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