For Approval: Transitive Grace Period Public Licence, v1.0

Michael Tiemann tiemann at
Thu Feb 19 18:19:07 UTC 2009

On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 1:11 PM, Bruce Perens <bruce at> wrote:

> Chris Zumbrunn wrote:
>> No, because for the first twelve month the license behaves like a
>> permissive open source license.
> Actually, it doesn't. A permissive or "gift" Open Source license allows
> software under /other/ licenses, generally a proprietary license or "All
> Rights Reserved", to be combined with the Open Source component.
> In the case of software under the TGPPL, the restricted component is under
> the TGPPL, rather than another license. But that component is not Open
> Source until some time expires.
> Consider the situation of someone who acquires that software and
> redistributes it as if it were Open Source. That person would be subject to
> criminal prosecution under trade secrets law and civil suit for copyright
> infringement. Even though the TGPPL applied to the software in question.
> Thus, it is difficult for me to see how the TGPPL could be OSD compliant.

I think I understand what you are saying, and I think it clarifies my
example with respect to Apple's OSX.  The BSD license permits Apple to put
their own terms around the code and say "hands off--this is proprietary
software now!"  Guys like Greg Stein even thing that's cool.  Whatever.  The
fact is, nobody is confused for a moment that the software wrapped in
Apple's license has the open source property while wrapped in that license.
If Apple chooses to push a patch upstream, absent their restrictive license,
such changes may be accepted by the upstream maintainers, and version of
open source BSD may be derived with those changes, retaining the open source

If Bruce's logic is correct, the TGPPL creates a trojan horse situation
where the license would (if the OSI were to grant such approval) claim open
source over top of code that did not, in fact, carry the open source
property.  That would be Bad.


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