GPL vs APSL (was: YAPL is bad)

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. rod at
Wed Sep 26 04:50:32 UTC 2001

Some have said that the MIT/BSD licenses do not REQUIRE access to the source
code, and where the licenses PERMIT access to the source code, code forking
is permitted for redistributions of modified works. I think this is correct
although the "list of conditions" clauses in the license are so ambiguous
that they have a recursive quality.  In my opinion, the MIT/BSD licenses are
uncomplicated, but not well-drafted.


"Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this
list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice,
this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation
and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
The name of the author may not be used to endorse or promote products
derived from this software without specific prior written permission"

Rod Dixon
" which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does
not need
- this life is hell." W.E.B.  DuBois in 1958

> Greg London wrote:
> >>In the case of the MIT license, Bob certainly
> >>*can* charge Alice a million
> >>bucks for the source, but the license would
> >>still be an Open Source license.
> >
> > It seems to me that the MIT does not meet
> > item #2 of the OSD, then. The APSL goes
> > above and beyond #2 requirements. But the
> > MIT license seems to fall short.
> Let's not lose track of what we are talking about.  The OSD requires (by
> #2) that the publisher of an Open Source work provide access to the
> source code, and that (by #3) it be possible for anyone to freely make
> derivative works.
> There is *no* requirement that derivative works are themselves
> necessarily Open Source.  Under the GPL, they are; under MIT/BSD, they
> are not; under LGPL, it depends on the character of the derivative
> work; under MPL, it depends on how the changes were made.
> --
> Not to perambulate             || John Cowan <jcowan at>
>     the corridors               ||
> during the hours of repose     ||
>     in the boots of ascension.  \\ Sign in Austrian ski-resort hotel
> --
> license-discuss archive is at

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