RPL 1.3 Revision

Scott Shattuck idearat at mindspring.com
Sat Apr 8 22:01:24 UTC 2006


I'd like to submit the following revisions to the currently approved
Reciprocal Public License 1.1 on file with the OSI. I've attached both text
and HTML versions of the new revision for easy review, and also detailed the
specific changes and their rationales below.


I'd really appreciate it if you could find time to discuss this update and
approve it either at your April or May meeting. It would help some of those
who've contacted us about the RPL to make use of an existing OSI license if
we could get the new version approved and posted as the latest revision on
the OSI site. Thanks in advance for you effort in this regard.

The changes between version 1.1 and version 1.3 supplied here focus on
issues raised either by the FSF or by others who have contacted Technical
Pursuit regarding use of the RPL for their own software projects/products.
We have tried with this revision to address those concerns while retaining
the intended goals of the RPL and conformance to OSI requirements.

According to the FSF the Reciprocal Public License is a non-free license
because of three problems:

1. It puts limits on prices charged for an initial copy.
2. It requires notification of the original developer for publication of a
modified version. 
3. It requires publication of any modified version that an organization
uses, even privately.

In support of reusing the RPL for other open source projects there were two
additional issues:

4. It contained references to a Technical Pursuit License (TPL) in EXHIBIT A
5. It required a jurisdiction in Colorado which could not be altered without
having to rename the license

We've addressed these combined concerns as follows (line numbers refer to
the txt version attached):

1.	Per FSF (1) we no longer restrict prices charged for verbatim copies
thanks to changes in Lines 44-45, 49-50, and 353-355 mirroring the GPLs
stance on this matter.
2.	Per FSF (2) we now only require notification of the community at
large (not Licensor) via posting to a news group, blog, or other indexable
web site per Lines 75-80, 275-283, and 328-332. 

3.	Per Reuse (4) we adjusted lines 553-567 so EXHIBIT A is clean of
references to Technical Pursuit.
4.	Per Reuse (5), we've adjusted Lines 380-384 to allow jurisdiction
changes without renaming the license.

5.	To also encourage Reuse we removed onerous requirements for
maintaining a CHANGES file by altering lines 69-70, 286-295, and 328-332.
6.	The remaining lines with changes (2, 4, 90, etc) change version
numbers and/or dates for the license itself.

We made the first 2 changes addressing FSF issues in an attempt to get their
objections down to "you have to release your code" and "you have to say you
released your code" so any remaining objections are limited to the feature
which defines the essense of the RPL -- that you have to reciprocate by
releasing your code, regardless of where or how you might deploy it.

We're not aware of any changes to the license text that would in any way
alter it's conformance to the Open Source Definition, and would ask that you
review this license and approve it as the "current" RPL version.

To assist you with your review process detailed notes on the changes are
listed below:

Line 2:		Updated version number and effective date.
Line 4:		Updated copyright date
Line 44-45:	Added ", or for physically transferring a copy of the
Licensed Software as you received it." to the end of this clause.
Line 49-50:	Removed "the Licensed Software, or " so this applies only to
"Your Extensions". Also removed " where such reproduction and distribution
involve physical media."
Line 69-70:	Changed "both in the Source Code and in a text file titled
"CHANGES" distributed with " to "in the Source Code of"
Line 75-80:	Changed "Licensor" to "software community". Added
notification text of "by posting to appropriate news groups, mailing lists,
or web sites where a search engine accessible to the public can index your
post in relationship to the Software, including in such notice a brief
description of the Extensions, the distinctive title used, and instructions
on how to acquire the Source Code." 
Line 90:		Changed version number.
Line 275-283:	Removed references to Licensed Software, focusing on
Extensions. Require an "Electronic Distribution Medium" for source code.
Line 286-295:	Removed references to CHANGES file and a cross-reference in
documenting modifications making requirements less onerous.
Line 328-332:	Removed references to CONTRIB file, making requirements less
onerous. Replaced "Licensor" with "software community". Updated to allow 1
month after deployment before notification required. Allow notification to
community at large purely via posting to the net.
Line 353-355:	Added " You may also charge a nominal fee for physical
transfer of a copy of the Licensed Software as you received it."
Line 380-384:	Replaced EXHIBIT A alteration option with alteration of
Section 13.8 purely to modify the legal Jurisdiction or Venue to allow
alteration of the notice or jurisdiction and still call it the RPL.

Line 553-555:	Removed option of altering notice via Section 7.1
Line 556-567	Removed references to Technical Pursuit License and TPI.
Notice now refers only to the RPL so no alterations should be necessary.
Updated version numbers/dates.

We'd like to assist the OSI in any way necessary to get this new version of
the RPL approved so that Technical Pursuit and the other companies making
use of the RPL can benefit from a more compassionate version of the license
regarding notification requirements, pricing, etc. 

Thank you in advance for your attention! Let me know if there's anything you
need from me to help get v1.3 approved :)


Scott Shattuck
RPL Author

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