OVPL summary

Ian Lance Taylor ian at airs.com
Wed Sep 14 20:23:47 UTC 2005

David Barrett <dbarrett at quinthar.com> writes:

> I thought we went down this path already and found this to be a red
> herring.  It was my impression that the OVPL's "distribution"
> requirements are no different than the typical licenses:
> - If you distribute to anyone, you must distribute to everyone (ID too)
> - If you distribute to no one, you needn't distribute to anyone (nor ID)
> - Therefore ID has no greater access to your changes than anyone else.
> If this isn't right, can somebody summarize with similar brevity?

I don't think that is what typical licenses say.  The GPL, for
example, says:

- If you distribute to no one, you needn't distribute to anyone.
- If you distribute binaries and sources to one person, you needn't
  distribute to anyone else
- If you distribute only binaries, you must distrbute source to anyone
  who asks

The OVPL differs on the second point, obviously.  I think the OVPL is
an interesting license because it almost seems aimed at a distinction
between open source software and free software.  The FSF defines free
software to include this freedom:

    You should also have the freedom to make modifications and use
    them privately in your own work or play, without even mentioning
    that they exist.  If you do publish your changes, you should not
    be required to notify anyone in particular, or in any particular

The OVPL arguably violates that freedom, although I don't see that it
violates the OSD.


More information about the License-discuss mailing list