OVPL Summary, Take 3

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at mibsoftware.com
Mon Sep 19 13:09:37 UTC 2005

Alex Bligh wrote:

> Forrest,
>>Under the OVPL the ID is special.
> I think not as special as you think :-) see below.
>>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
>>Can the ID sue "C" to get "B"s improvements?  Not under the GPL.
> The ID can still sue C (or D) under the GPL, simply because C (or D)
> does not have a valid license to ID's code (assuming what C/D is working
> with is a derivative of B), because the GPL license is conditional on C's
> providing source (or publishing generally) to D.
> And in either case, C (or D) can get himself out of this hole by simply
> publishing the source.
> Whilst I'm sure there are differences, the above isn't one of them!
>>Secondly, the GPL requires the distribution of the source code
>>for the version you distribute.
> Yes
>>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.
> No. The OVPL requires the license-back of "Licensed Modifications" (not
> Future Versions) - the latter concept I will explain below. Licensed
> Modifications are Modifications that are (in essence) distributed.

Here is how I read the terms....

     1.10. “Licensed Modification” means Modifications that You
     contribute, distribute, or otherwise make available whether in
     Source Code form or in Executable form.

Now that COULD have said "distribute or otherwise make available",
but the definition has the verb "contribute."

"contribute" is not defined, but "Contributor" is....

     1.1. “Contributor” means each individual or entity that creates or
     contributes to the creation of Modifications.

By this definition, one who creates Modifications is a "contributor." 
  I am not a lawyer, but wouldn't that definition of "contributor" in 
1.1 sway the interpretation of "contribute" in 1.10?

Further, it is my understanding that under U.S. copyright law, the 
PREPARATION of derivative works is a separately named permission.
You must have a license to prepare derivative works.

That means that the OVPL defines "Licensed Modifications" as
something different than "licensed modifications."  That disconnect
may be one reason I am finding it hard to understand 3.3.

The "in respect of Future Versions" phrase is also throwing me. I 
think I do not understand that the way you meant.  "each Future
Version" seems even harder to understand, since any version created
or used by the ID becomes a Future Version.

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