OVPL summary

Brian C brianwc at ocf.berkeley.edu
Wed Sep 14 09:22:31 UTC 2005

An elaboration to the summary of objections:

David Barrett wrote:

> There are three primary objections to the OVPL:
> A) The OVPL violates the OSD by granting the ID unique privileges.
> B) The OVPL enables the ID to "freeload" on the community.
> C) The OVPL requires private changes be made public.
> The rebuttal to (A) is that other OSI-approved licenses also grant the
> ID special privileges, though the OVPL certainly goes further than any
> other.  Furthermore, given that the "dual licensing" tactic is embraced
> as open-source compatible, and given that the OVPL produces an
> effectively equivalent result, the OVPL's goals should likewise be
> embraced as open-source compatible.

I would put the general question to the board this way: Is granting an
initial developer unique privileges "discrimination"? The MPL may be a
precedent, but that doesn't settle the issue. If allowing its asymmetry
was a mistake, then that mistake shouldn't be the reason to commit
additional errors.

In general, I can imagine an asymmetrical license that would be
objectionable, say one that gave only U.S. citizens the right to make
proprietary versions or gave only men such a right, or etc (fill in an
arbitrary characteristic not related to the origin of the code.) These
would seem to pretty squarely violate OSD #5.

So perhaps the OVPL presents a more specific question to OSI: Is a
license that grants greater rights to an initial developer than it
grants to other licensees consistent with OSI's principles, in
particular, does it constitute "discrimination against persons or groups"?

I don't have a considered opinion on the question, but think the board
should have one.



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