Copy-Back License draft for discussion

Alex Bligh alex at
Mon Apr 25 14:02:17 UTC 2005

--On 25 April 2005 15:16 +0200 Chris Zumbrunn <chris at> wrote:

> You said elsewhere that under the OVPL the requirement to make source
> code available is triggered by use of an executable as an ASP service,
> correct? How/where do you ensure that the source will be made available
> in that situation?
> So far, the only relevant section in the CDDL/OVPL I found is:
> "You must inform recipients of any such Covered Software in Executable
> form as to how they can obtain such Covered Software in Source Code form
> in a reasonable manner on or through a medium customarily used for
> software exchange."
> Is a user of an ASP service a "recipient of Covered Software in
> Executable form"?
> Does the OVPL carefully avoid a "copyback" formulation by expanding the
> requirement to release source code beyond the distribution of binaries?
> Or did I misunderstand the CDDL/OVPL's intention in regards to ASP
> deployments?

The phrase "distribute" in the OVPL is followed by "make otherwise
available" which I take to include ASP deployment.

When you distribute (or make otherwise available) you are obliged to
make what you call a "copyback" and what we call an "additional license
grant". The initial developer might not know of that grant, as there
is no obligation to inform the ID. It's not the intention to bombard
the ID with details of what he might or might not have the right to
use. The idea is that if the ID finds a patch which has been created
and he wants to use, he knows (by virtue of the license) he has the
right to use it.

The latest revision (not on the web site yet but included below)
of the text makes that more clear.

Your obligation as a contributor with respect to the grant are either
i)  to make it generally available to the public at large, OR
ii) to respond to a request from the ID to provide a copy of the
    code and the date at which the grant became effective.

Re ASP, yes, of course there are enforceability issues (if someone
provides an ASP service, how does the ID know whether they are providing
ASP service using the code in the first place, let alone using
patched software. But the same problem applies to (say) the OSL,
and indeed any license imposing the obligations of distribution on
ASP use.

3.3.	Additional License of Modifications to Initial Developer.
In respect of any Modifications that You contribute, distribute, or 
otherwise make available whether in Source Code form or in Executable form 
("Licensed Modifications"), You hereby grant, in addition to the license 
grant under Section 2, a perpetual, irrevocable, world-wide, royalty-free, 
sub-licensable, non-exclusive license to the Initial Developer in respect 
of future versions of the Original Software ("Future Versions"):
(a)	under intellectual property rights (other than patent or trademark) 
Licensable by You to use, reproduce, modify, display, perform, sublicense, 
and distribute the Licensed Modifications (or portions thereof); and
(b)	under Patent Claims infringed by the making, using, or selling of 
Licensed Modifications either alone and/or in combination with the Original 
Software and prior Modifications used by You (or portions of such 
combination), to make, use, sell, offer for sale, have made, and/or 
otherwise dispose of: (1) the Licensed Modifications (or portions thereof); 
and (2) the combination of the Licensed Modifications, the Original 
Software and prior Modifications used by You (or portions of such 
Developer procuring that in respect of each Future Version:
(i)	all Licensed Modifications incorporated in that Future Version; and
(ii)	either that Future Version or another Future Version incorporating the 
same Licensed Modifications (possibly together with other Modifications)
are made and remain generally available to the public at large under the 
terms of this License or a subsequent version of this License released 
under Section 4.1, with the Initial Developer identified as such therein, 
in addition to under any other license(s) of the Initial Developer if any. 
Such license shall be effective on the date that You first distributed such 
Modifications and shall apply to the Modifications both in the form 
contributed, distributed or otherwise made available and in Source Code 
form. If You do not make all of your Licensed Modifications irrevocably 
generally available to the public at large, then, upon written request of 
the Initial Developer, You must promptly provide, at the Initial 
Developer’s cost, a copy of all Licensed Modifications together with the 
date at which each grant thereto became effective. For the avoidance of 
doubt, in the absence of such a request, You are not required under this 
Section to notify the Initial Developer if you contribute, distribute, or 
otherwise make available Modifications.


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