RPSL pre-discussion

Rob Lanphier robla at real.com
Fri Aug 2 02:23:09 UTC 2002

Hi everyone,

Here is a link to the RealNetworks Public Source License (RPSL):


Note that this is version "0.9".  We're not yet submitting it for
approval; there's some more edits for clarity that we intend to make.
Nevertheless, based on many conversations at OSCON last week, it seems
prudent to start people thinking about this sooner rather than later.

Our intent is to create a license that is similar in goals to the GPL,
with the following key differences:

*  Closing the "ASP loophole".  We want to ensure that someone who sets up
a business as an ASP is subject to the same community obligations as
someone who creates a shrinkwrap product.  See
http://newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=00/11/01/1636202 for more details
on this.

*  Clear language with respect to the scope of patent rights RealNetworks
grants to the community.  We are offering a patent license to the code we

*  Right for RealNetworks to relicense.  The subgoals for this are as
   *  We want to ensure we can bring changes back into our main
      development trunk, which is dually licensed under the RPSL and the
      RealNetworks Community Source License (a community source license
      modelled after the Java Community Source License)
   *  We want to be able to relicense this under other terms later
      (perhaps GPL compatibility will become feasible)
   *  We offer licensing under other terms under custom agreement

*  Limited LGPL and MPL compatibility (allows dynamic linking to libraries
fully licensed under LGPL and MPL; no license mixing within a library)

Let us know what you think.  We intend to publish a revised document for
approval in the next couple weeks.


Rob Lanphier, Program Manager  --  Interoperability, RealNetworks
http://helixcommunity.org http://rtsp.org http://realnetworks.com

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