Adaptive Public License

Carmen Leeming cleeming at
Fri Apr 16 01:58:53 UTC 2004

I am sorry for the confusion in my previous email regarding our 
application of the Adaptive Public License.  We have developed a 
specific program that we wish to distribute as open source.  Our 
requirements were not met by any existing license.  We therefore hired a 
lawyer to aid in drafting a new license that would fit the needs of our 

In the meantime, I have been promoting open source throughout my 
University and encouraging other groups to release their software as 
open source too.   Since the University was spending a lot of money on 
this lawyer, we thought it best to try to meet the needs of the other 
projects that the University would like to release.  Due to various 
research group restrictions, patent right clauses were desired in some 
cases and not in others.  Different groups had ideas for how they wished 
changes to be documented as well.  Another concern with a university is 
about how widespread software could be distributed for "internal use" 
without needing to release the source externally.  For example, some 
universities own partial interest in start-up companies that spawned 
from research at the university.  In some cases you may want to allow 
sharing of modifications to these entities without forcing the changes 
to be released publicly; in other cases you may want to maximize the 
"openness" of the software and prohibit "widespread-internal" 
distributions of closed source modifications.

Seeing that the University of Victoria could gain more benefit from this 
license if we made it adaptable, that was the route we chose.  We also 
had input from other universities about whether or not these features 
would meet their needs.  We then added the jurisdictional option to 
allow other universities (or anyone else) to be able to use this license.

I hope this clears up the issue of why we are applying.  We developed a 
license to meet our needs, which are not limited to a single project.  
We could have submitted several similar licenses with the adaptive 
clauses pre-set, but felt that this would just add needlessly to the 
group of existing licenses.  We felt a more elegant solution was to have 
one license that our various research groups could use by simply 
modifying a few initial conditions.

--Carmen Leeming
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