ASP use (was Re: Copy-Back License draft for discussion)

Chris Zumbrunn chris at
Tue Apr 26 12:01:12 UTC 2005

On Apr 26, 2005, at 1:01 PM, Alex Bligh wrote:

> This section of both the CDDL and the OVPL provides that:
> 	"Any Covered Software that You distribute or *otherwise make
> 	available* in Executable form must also be made available in Source
> 	Code form and that Source Code form must be distributed only under
> 	the terms of this License."
> So the license to distribute OR perform is CONDITIONAL upon the 
> provision
> of source code if the Covered Software is distributed or "otherwise
> made available".
> At per:
> Sun's lawyers say:
> 	Wherever software distribution is mentioned, added the phrase "or
> 	otherwise makes available" to cover passive types of distribution,
> 	such as with ASPs.
> Whilst the OSL (for instance) is more specific on the question (with
> its reference to "External Deployment") I'd be interested to hear why
> you think the CDDL/OVPL clause doesn't currently do the job. That's
> because they simply aren't granted the right to use, perform, 
> distribute
> etc. if they "make the software otherwise available" (which I would
> have thought would cover ASP use) and do not provide the software in
> source code form etc.

It would seem to me that ASP use does not "make the Covered Software 
available" to the user. The software is available on the server and 
only provides the result to the remote user. Your interpretation (and 
Sun's) is rather creative and seems risky to me. Would it hold up in 

If I send an email message and it is handled by a CDDL/OVPL licensed 
SMTP server, do I have the right to be provided with that source code?

What about in-house/corporate deployment? Does that "make the Covered 
Software available" and therefore the ID could request the source code?

If you hack around in the source code and compile and run it... Does 
that make the software available to yourself?


I'm just surprised something as important as that is left so vaguely 
defined. Specially in a license as verbose as the CDDL. I searched the 
archives for discussions of this during the time of the CDDL approval 
and couldn't find anything. Did I miss it or has this never come up?


More information about the License-discuss mailing list