[License-discuss] CDDL 1.1 and GPL 2 with CPE

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Mon Feb 6 04:12:29 UTC 2012

On 02/01/2012 05:25 PM, Karl Fogel wrote:
> An hypothesis:
> If a license is already approved as open source, and the copyright
> holder adds an exception that merely indicates that under certain
> circumstances they will not enforce certain terms of the license, then
> the distribution terms are still "open source".
> The logic is that anyone who receives a copy of the software clearly has
> all the rights guaranteed them by the base license, and in the general
> case no one can compel a copyright holder to enforce things they choose
> not to enforce anyway.  In other words, things like the classpath
> exception are not really changes to the license at all.  They are rather
> promises -- a form of estoppel, in which recipients can depend on the
> license holder to not exercise certain powers they might otherwise have
> exercised.

The first part sounds plausible.  An additional permission should not 
invalidate it complying with the OSD, as long as you can choose to 
forget or ignore the exception and say "I just want my GPL."  That 
applies to GPL + classpath exception.  In fact, it explicitly says (for 
modified versions, but the modification could be trivial), "If you do 
not wish to do so, delete this exception statement from your version."

However, I think this *is* an additional license, rather than just 
estoppel or covenant not to sue.


Matt Flaschen

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