Open Source Licenses and Embrace-Extend-Extinguish

Ernest Prabhakar ernest.prabhakar at
Wed Feb 13 21:12:43 UTC 2008

Hi Matthew,

There are such licenses, e.g. SISSL:

However, they are manifestly *not* Open Source.  The open source  
solution would be to make the code freely reusable, but place  
conditions on the *branding* to ensure conformance.

-- Ernie P.

On Feb 13, 2008, at 11:55 AM, msibley at wrote:

> Howdy,
> I've worked on a few protocols and document standards over the  
> years. One thing I've noticed is the tendency of certain players to  
> either partially support an Internet standard, or add features to it  
> making it no longer cross-platform. There are too many examples to  
> list.
> My question is:  are there any copyright licenses that are open, but  
> have features designed to combat these practices?
> I am interested in licensing a copyright for a protocol. This  
> protocol is fairly simple, and is designed to be extensible. I would  
> like to say:
> ____________________
> If you use this protocol you must support _all_ features of a major  
> version.  You may extend the protocol as much as you like provided  
> your extensions live in this namespace which has been provided for  
> that purpose. Any implimentation that does not meet these criteria,  
> will have its license revoked. This copyright is collectively owned  
> by those who have published software which is in compliance with  
> these license terms.
> ____________________
> My point here, is that people who support and develop free software  
> and open standards should have some litigious reciprocity available  
> against vendors who don't play nice. Malicious vendors should be  
> responsible to everybody they screw, not just the original authors.
> So anything out there like that?
> Opinions? Comments?
> Thanks in advance!
> Matthew Sibley
> msibley at

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