Adaptive Public License review

Carmen Leeming cleeming at
Thu Apr 22 19:49:51 UTC 2004

John, thank you for taking the time to review the entire license.  My 
responses to your comments/suggestions are embedded below:

jcowan at wrote:

>Though the APL is MPL-ish in nature, it has a few provisions modeled after
>the GPL, but intensified in such a way that I believe they violate OSD #1.
>In particular, Section 3.2 requires that any distribution of Executable
>code charge no more than the distribution cost.  This means that binary
>packages of the APLed work can't be put on CD-ROMs that are sold above
>cost, as most distro makers do.  We have held in the past that this sort
>of thing makes a license not open source.
>Section 3.3(b) makes the same requirement, but only in respect of source
>code distributed separately from Executable code.  The GPL also makes
>this restriction, and it is a reasonable one: it prevents people from
>freely distributing the Executable form and holding the source for ransom.
>(This could only happen in practice in the case of a Subsequent Work.)
The intention of Section 3.2 was to require the "Free Redistribution" of 
the executable.  After reviewing the wording of this section, I can see 
that it violates OSD #1.  I can remove a portion of the offending line 
to make it conform:

"A Distributor may choose to distribute the Licensed Work, or any 
portion thereof, in Executable form (an "EXECUTABLE DISTRIBUTION") to 
any third party, under the terms of Section 2 of this License, provided 
the Executable Distribution is made available under and accompanied by a 
copy of this License ***and is distributed at no more than the cost of 
physically performing Executable Distribution***, AND provided at least 
ONE of the following conditions is fulfilled:"

(section between '***' marks to be removed)

>The license should make clear that CD and DVD distribution count as
>Electronic Distribution, though they are not performed over a wire.

We used the same definition of Electronic Distribution Mechanism as used 
in the MPL.  Specifically mentioning CDs and DVDs as Electronic 
Distribution Mechanisms leaves out other valid current methods, as well 
as future methods that may become standard.  I'm open to changing this, 
but would invite other comments on how specific we want to get with this 

>The requirement to make the source of Subsequent Works available for
>three full years in all cases except internal deployment is burdensome.
This clause (3.1a) was to promote the continued availablity of the 
Subsequent Works, but we could reduce the time-frame if it is too 
burdensome.  What time would you suggest as reasonable?

>If the offending language in Section 3.2 is removed, the AFL should be
>passed as an open source license.
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