OVPL Summary, Take 3

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at mibsoftware.com
Mon Sep 19 12:03:08 UTC 2005

Alex Bligh wrote:

> --On 17 September 2005 21:57 -0700 Ben Tilly <btilly at gmail.com> wrote:
>>The concern that I saw is that the OVPL allows the ID to go on
>>"fishing expeditions", making requests of people just to see what
>>you'll find.  I haven't been following closely enough to see whether
>>this has been addressed.
> The response was (in brief form):
> 1.In any reciprocal license (i.e. where it is conditional on the licensee
>   performing meaningful obligations), the licensor can "go on a fishing
>   trip" - e.g. under the GPL the licensor can say "we have reason to believe
>   you have distributed a binary without accompanying it with source and
>   without making source publicly available"; the licensor cannot prove
>   this WITHOUT going on a fishing trip. But fishing trips are expensive,
>   especially where there is no contractual right to such information (i.e.
>   they are setting out to prove breach of contract / license term
>   necessarily without the information sufficient to show this). The OVPL
>   is no worse in this respect: in both instances the compliant licensee
>   can happily ignore the fishing trip.

Under the OVPL the ID is special.

Consider this case:

"ID" distributes to "B".

"B" creates a derivative consisting of additional source code modules, 
and distributes them to "C", but then "B" goes out of business.

"C" uses "B"s improvements and distributes a binary, but not sources, 
to "D".

Can the ID sue "C" to get "B"s improvements?  Not under the GPL.

Secondly, the GPL requires the distribution of the source code
for the version you distribute.

The OVPL requires the license-back of "each Future Version".
This is way more intrusive and can be used to get at versions not
even ready for production.  Under the OVPL, the ID can demand access 
to CVS repositories weekly, daily, hourly, intruding and spying on the 
efforts of competitors.

The more I read your explanations of this concern, the more I think
the OVPL is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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