Common Public License (IBM)

Dan Streetman ddstreet at
Thu Jan 25 02:18:27 UTC 2001

On Tue, 23 Jan 2001, Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. wrote:

>It might be helpful when posting licenses to state what the goal is in using
>this type of license rather than a license already approved (or already
>submitted under a different name). If this license is identical to the IBM
>Public License except for dropping a direct reference to "IBM," then I am
>puzzled why they would submit this one.

Well, I'm just a developer, I can't give you the reasoning behind the
changes, but I'll speculate.  If you ***really*** must know why the
changes were made (and a new license thus created) I guess I could try to
find out.  But, from the perspective of simply evaluating the license,
does it really matter?

Ok, here's my guess:

If you read the IBM Public License you will see that it makes the
assumption that IBM released the 'Original Program':

"Original Program" means the original version of the software
accompanying this Agreement as released by IBM, including source code,
object code and documentation, if any. 

Which seems to totally prevent anyone outside of IBM from using the
license.  The CPL doesn't make this assumption, and as far as I can tell,
that is the only change made - removing the assumption that IBM created
the original program (and removing the requirement to put 'Copyright IBM'
in the program).

Hope that helps.

And BTW, I am not speaking as an official IBM representative here, this is
my own time & email.

Dan Streetman
ddstreet at
186,272 miles per second:
It isn't just a good idea, it's the law!

More information about the License-discuss mailing list