[Fwd: FW: For Approval: Generic Attribution Provision]

Timothy McIntyre tmcintyre at terracottatech.com
Wed Dec 13 20:48:57 UTC 2006


I am in-house counsel for Terracotta, an open-source Java clustering 
company.  As some of you may know, Terracotta released all of its 
software last Monday under the Terracotta Public License, which is the 
MPL (with a few edits, which are sampled from the CDDL), plus an 
attribution clause that's similar (but not identical) to the ones used 
by MuleSource, Zimbra, and others.  Terracotta has a standard 
dual-license model, where users can either access our source code and 
modify it under the TPL, or purchase a subscription to the enterprise 
edition, and thus get a commercial license that comes with technical 
support, a warranty, indemnification assurances, and removes the 
attribution requirement. 

We spent a long time choosing how to license our source code, and in the 
end, we primarily wanted to (1) give developers the freedom to mix 
Terracotta code with their own code, and then redistribute their own 
code under a license of their choice, and (2) ensure that 
redistributions of Terracotta code included some kind of visible 
attribution of Terracotta.  We also wanted to, and still do want to, use 
an OSI-approved license.  I was somewhat surprised to learn that none of 
the other "MPL + attribution" software projects ever submitted their 
licenses for OSI-approval.  I'd be happy to submit the Terracotta Public 
License for approval, if it would help further the current discussion 
surrounding the Generic Attribution Provision that Socialtext has 
submitted.  However, my hunch is that it would be more productive to 
stay focused on the current proposal.  Terracotta's perspective is that 
if the OSI decides to approve a Generic Attribution Provision, we could 
revise our license accordingly.

To follow up on Brian Behlendorf's and Larry Rosen's points regarding 
trademarks -- yes, I agree that it's not advisable to basically tell the 
licensee, "we're not giving you a trademark license, but nonetheless, 
you have to include our trademarked logo when you redistribute our 
software."  Essentially, that *is* a trademark license, and the licensor 
runs the risk of losing his/her trademark as a result.  The way we 
addressed this in the Terracotta Public License was to instead give the 
licensee a license to the copyright in the phrase, "Powered by 
Terracotta."  We don't require any redistributions to include the 
Terracotta logo (i.e., trademark), and instead just ask for inclusion of 
text.  Perhaps that's the workaround that could be used for the Generic 
Attribution Provision?


Timothy McIntyre // Corporate Counsel
Terracotta // Open Source Clustering for Java

web: www.terracotta.org
tel: 415.738.4014
fax: 415.738.4099

Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Dec 2006, Dalibor Topic wrote:
>> I'd say that badgerware that requires displaying and propagating 
>> trademarked
>> logos, is fundamentally contrary to the idea of open source, since it 
>> makes it
>> very hard to actually fork the code without running foul of trademark 
>> laws.
> No, not really.  If I tell you that you must include this logo in this 
> way in the UI of your redistributed work, then I am implicitly but 
> inarguably giving you a license to trademark rights I might have in 
> that logo and name, limited to usage as defined by that license.
>     Brian

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