MXMPL *is* open source

Bruce Perens bruce at
Tue Apr 14 20:20:53 UTC 2009

Hi Ales,

The fact that the copyright is owned by ISO/IEC is not important. If it 
were, it would be easy to circumvent the requirements for Open Source 
simply by having some sort of shell organization to own the copyright of 
the software separate from patent rights that apply to the software.

The license makes explicit the non-grant of patent rights concerning a 
large class of binary derivative works. That's sufficient to disqualify 
it. The contributors to the standard can't separate themselves from the 
implicit patent grant even though there is a separate organization 
holding the copyright. That's why they insisted on the non-grant terms 
being present.

I have suggested an alternative for them to consider that allows them to 
continue to have a commercial revenue stream from their patents while 
making them available for Open Source use - but only under one of the 
more restrictive Open Source licenses. That's the best we can offer 
them, I think.



ales von alem wrote:
> Notice 1.10:
> "ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11"
> ISO/EIC doesn't hold any patents.
> Any source code copyrighted by ISO/IEC and released under the MXMPL is
> undoubtedly open source.
> Some may require a third party's patent license, but that doesn't make
> the ISO/IEC's source code (released under the MXMPL) any less open
> source.

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