Licensing Model: Joint Copyright Assignments

Mitchell Baker Mitchell at
Tue Apr 15 00:28:41 UTC 2003

As described in a previous message, the Open Source Applicaitons 
Foundation is planning to use a licensing model similar to that of  
MySQL.  We also plan to require copyright assignments for code accepted 
back into OSAF's tree.  I'm very interested in the Joint Copyright 
Assignment that is used with the OpenOffice project.  (See and

Does anyone hae experience with this model?  Or know of reasons why this 
Joint Copyright ownership would be a problem?  I like it because the 
original creator of submissions maintains the ability to use it as he or 
she wishes, which seems a good thing.  But I have little direct 
experience, so don't know if I am missing difficulties with this plan.

Thanks for your time,


Mitchell Baker wrote:

> The Open Source Applications Foundation ( 
> is planning the 0.1 release of Chandler (a personal information 
> manager) shortly, hopefully by the end of April.  OSAF's plan of 
> record for licensing is to follow the model used by MySQL:  recipients 
> must either (a) make their entire application available under the GPL 
> or other approved open source license, or (b) get a commercial license 
> from OSAF.  I'm very interested in the thinking of this group about 
> this model.  The plan is reasonably firm but not set in stone, so I'd 
> appreciate hearing about potential pitfalls as well as benefits.
> Mitchell

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