For Approval: Simple Public License (SimPL)

Jim Sfekas sfekas at
Thu May 31 18:20:44 UTC 2007

Thanks for working with us this past few months.  I think we have a much
better license than we did at the beginning of the process--better but still
simple.  This will be a much shorter e-mail, since I think there's basically
only one open issue (and that's easy to resolve).  For everyone's
convenience, I've attached the final version of the license.

> > We've changed the license in two ways to take this into account.  
> > First, we
> > added the "such as GPL 2.0" language that you suggested.

> I just noticed a slight (undoubtedly unintended) problem.
> "Conspicuously announcing that it is licensed under the SimPL" implies 
> the derivative work must be under SimPL.  But "Licensing it to 
> everyone under terms substantially similar to the SimPL (such as GPL 
> 2.0)." makes it clear other licenses are okay; in fact, the later can 
> be read
> (ignorantly) as requiring that SimPL /not/ be used.  I think both 
> could be resolved by saying instead:

> * Licensing it to everyone under SimPL, or substantially similar terms 
> (such as GPL 2.0).
> * Conspicuously announcing that it is available under that license

That's a good point.  We certainly didn't intend that.  We've modified the
license as you suggested.

> Thank you.  That should mostly resolve the compatibility issues 
> (though someone could still make an arguably "substantially similar"
> license without this compatibility provision and break the chain).

We agree this shouldn't be a material problem.  First and most importantly,
including a compatibility term should be part and parcel of a "substantially
similar" license because this is material term.  Second, if someone decides
to take advantage of the compatibility option they will most likely
re-license under GPL 2.0 which, of course, would be fine.  Third,
re-licensing under a non-GPL OSI-approved open source license would have
gone through the OSI vetting process, so there's a good chance that it will
compatible with other open source licenses.

We appreciate your feedback and we look forward to your board's
consideration of the SimPL in June (thanks for letting us know it's on the

Jim Sfekas
Bob Gomulkiewicz

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