Adaptive Public License

TW zupftom at
Sat May 14 08:05:37 UTC 2011

Thanks for the clarification!

2011/5/13 John Cowan <cowan at>:
> TW scripsit:
>> what does this section mean?  Does it mean something similar to the
>> GPL section that says, the FSF may publish revised versions of the
>> GPL, and any GPLed work may be used/distributed/modified under the
>> revised version,
> There is no such GPL provision.  When the GPL is *applied*, it is common
> to use language like "version 2 or any later version", but some works,
> like the Linux kernel, just say "version 2" and so version 3 is not
> applicable to them.

Ah, I see.  That's something I haven't been aware of.

>> Wouldn't this give the Initial Contributor a lot of control over
>> Subsequent Works, even if most of the work has been done by others
>> after his Initial Contribution?  Could a revised/new version of the
>> License be a completely different license like the GPL or a so called
>> "Shared Source" license?  Would any Person be allowed to use any
>> Subsequent Works that *predate* the revision of the License under the
>> revised License?
> Yes to all of these questions.  However, the licensee is always free to
> use the older version if they prefer it.

So this is a bit of an ambivalent license.  On the one hand, it's
pretty permissive for Subsequent Contributors and users.  On the other
hand, as opposed to any other contributor, the Initial Contributor has
the right to use, modify and distribute Subsequent Works under
virtually any conditions, even as closed source software.  He can
therefore profit from others' contributions while being able to
prevent other contributors from in turn taking advantage of his future
contributions, if he so choses.

Thomas W.

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