MPL style license and commercial products

Ann W. Harrison aharrison at
Tue Apr 30 20:55:52 UTC 2002

Something has come up on a project I work on and I would
appreciate your opinions.  The project is Firebird which
is a fork of open source InterBase.  There's a long ugly
history which isn't worth going into.  InterBase is a
relational database management system, owned by Borland
Software, and released under the so-called IPL or
InterBase Public license.  That license is strongly modelled
on the Mozilla 1.1 license -

Another group have forked the code again, which is fine.

They're making changes that the Firebird group felt were
unwise and that's fine.

They decided that they want to charge a license fee for
their binary version, and that's fine.

They also decided that they don't need to publish their
changes to the source code, as long as they make the
changed source code available to anyone to whom they distribute
binaries.  I don't know whether they put restrictions on
redistributing the source code.  The group is Russian and none
of their on-line material has been translated.

In your opinion, have they violated the terms of the license?
If the source can be redistributed without penalty, have they
still violated the terms of the license?



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