Adaptive Public License Re: License Committee Report v2

Ernest Prabhakar Prabhaka at
Thu Apr 15 12:53:16 UTC 2004

On Apr 14, 2004, at 11:26 PM, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Unfortunately, even after two tries there have been insufficient
> comments on the Adaptive Public License.  Maybe the third's the charm?
> Title:  Adaptive Public License
> Submission:   
> bogcdnbbhnfbgpdeahob
> License:

So, I'm curious what the OSI position is on "model licenses" like this.  
   Does having a semi-modular license like this actually simplify the  
task of OSI approval?  Or is it easier to let people modify their own  
licenses as they see fit?

I think the reason there's few opinions is that it is so darn  
complicated (even by Open Source standards!). The most complicated part  
is that I can't tell whether the license terms are *always* fixed for a  
given Initial Work.  Could the author perhaps clarify that?  It also  
might help if the author could summarize:
- which clauses are relevant to OSI certification
- which clauses are different from existing OSI licenses
- the patent philosophy (which I couldn't parse)

-- Ernie P.
IANAL, TINLA, etc. etc.

FWIW, here's some of what I see as the most relevant sections, but the  
list isn't exhaustive.

1.7. "INDEPENDENT MODULE" means a  separate module of software and/or  
data that is not a derivative work  of or copied from the Licensed Work  
or any portion thereof. In addition,  a module does not qualify as an  
Independent Module but instead forms  part of the Licensed Work if the  
module: (a) is embedded in the Licensed  Work; (b) is included by  
reference in the Licensed Work other than by  a function call or a  
class reference; or (c) must be included or contained,  in whole or in  
part, within a file directory or subdirectory actually  containing  
files making up the Licensed Work.

1.18. "SUBSEQUENT WORK" means a work  that has resulted or arises from  
changes to and/or additions to:
  (a) the Initial Work;
  (b) any other Subsequent Work; or
  (c) to any combination of the Initial Work and any such other   
Subsequent Work;

  where such changes and/or additions originate from a Subsequent  
Contributor.  A Subsequent Work will "originate" from a Subsequent  
Contributor if  the Subsequent Work was a result of efforts by such  
Subsequent Contributor  (or anyone acting on such Subsequent  
Contributor's behalf, such as,  a contractor or other entity that is  
engaged by or under the direction  of the Subsequent Contributor). For  
greater certainty, a Subsequent  Work expressly excludes and shall not  
capture within its meaning any  Independent Module.

  This License shall not apply to Independent Modules of any Initial   
Contributor, Subsequent Contributor, Distributor or any Recipient, and   
such Independent Modules may be licensed or made available under one   
or more separate license agreements.

  Any Distributor or Recipient may create or contribute to a Larger Work  
  by combining any of the Licensed Work with other code not governed by   
the terms of this License, and may distribute the Larger Work as one   
or more products. However, in any such case, Distributor or Recipient   
(as the case may be) must make sure that the requirements of this  
License  are fulfilled for the Licensed Work portion of the Larger  

(b) The Initial Contributor may at any time introduce requirements  or  
add to or change earlier requirements (in each case, the "EARLIER   
DESCRIPTION REQUIREMENTS") for documenting changes resulting  in  
Subsequent Works by revising Part 1 of each copy  of the Supplement  
File distributed by the Initial Contributor with  future copies of the  
Licensed Work so that Part 1  then contains new requirements (the "NEW  
DESCRIPTION REQUIREMENTS")  for documenting such changes.

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