Danese Cooper danese at
Wed Apr 13 22:46:30 UTC 2005

Hi all,

On the subject of asymmetry...There is an assymetry in the warranty of
provenance of many existing F/OSS licenses.  Original contributor is
typically not required to make any sort of representation about their
ownership of contributions nor about IP embedded in their
contributions, while subsequent contributors often *are* required to
make such representations.  In a project such as Apache where everyone
starts on an even footing and the seed code is derived from a 3rd
source, this is a shared risk but in a typical "corporate" project the
asymmetry is concerning, especially in cases where code might be
encumbered (intentionally or unintentionally) by large IP holders who
might in future find offensive enforcement actions to be an attractive


On 4/13/05, Brian Behlendorf <brian at> wrote:
> On Wed, 13 Apr 2005, Michael R. Bernstein wrote:
> > To me, there is a qualitative difference between an Initial Developer
> > (ID) requiring copyright assignment (for which, if the ID is a business,
> > they might even be willing to pay for) in order to roll a modification
> > into the main release of a project and a license that pre-determines
> > that such an assignment to the ID has already been made if the
> > modification has been distributed.
> That's a much more narrowly defined area to have an issue with than has
> been bandied about so far in these discussions, or in OSI's proliferation
> paper.  The NPL had that; do other open source licenses?  The Apache
> License 2.0 has an implicit grant if you offer a derivative work back to
> us; but not if you redistribute on your own.
> I'm also siding with those who had more than a little dismay at the
> attitude being shown to the MPL.
>         Brian

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