[License-review] Request for Approval of Universal Permissive License (UPL)

Henrik Ingo henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi
Tue May 6 19:06:07 UTC 2014

On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 8:18 PM, Josh Berkus <josh at postgresql.org> wrote:
> On 04/16/2014 02:06 PM, Henrik Ingo wrote:
>> Clearly use of the UPL as a kind of CLA is a patent bonanza for the
>> recipient of UPL licensed code. For example in the case of Java or
>> MySQL, Oracle would be the recipient of a broad patent license from
>> all of its contributors. At the same time Oracle would not be using
>> the UPL in their outbound distribution of this software. (Otoh they
>> are likely to use a license that includes a patent license for the
>> whole of Java or MySQL, so maybe this is not such a big deal in
>> practice.)
> Huh?  I was assuming that Oracle *would* be distributing any such works
> under the UPL.  Why would they need a new license if they didn't intend
> to use it for outbound distribution?

My understanding is the UPL would replace or be an alternative to the
inbound Contributor License Agreement. So for example you would use
the UPL to contribute a piece of code to Java, but within the Java
codebase that code would then be GPL+proprietary dual licensed.

> It's not like Percona is going to take up the UPL just so they can
> contribute to Oracle, unless they have some promise that what they
> contribute will come back out UPL-licensed.

That is a point I made earlier too. I except that participants in the
MySQL ecosystem that have previously refused to sign the MySQL CLA
would similarly refuse to use the UPL. Otoh in communities such as
Java where the CLA process is widely accepted, the UPL is arguably an
improvement: less paperwork and also the UPL is universal (except for
the LARGER WORKS designations) vs the CLA only benefiting the
recipient party (Oracle in the case of Java).

> There's also no obligation for the license user to add anything to the
> LARGER WORKS file at all.  You could leave it blank.

No, but adding the right things could be a requirement for code to be
considered upstream. For example to contribute to "Java" you would
have to write "Java". (...which is of course not unreasonable, but
also not optional.)

Also if the UPL is used as a normal license and not a CLA, code bases
coud form where for some software the LARGER WORKS does already have
some contents and if you want to participate in that project you would
be forced to accept its contents.


henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi
+358-40-5697354        skype: henrik.ingo            irc: hingo

My LinkedIn profile: http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/henrik-ingo/3/232/8a7

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