OpenE License

David Blevins david.blevins at
Wed Feb 27 17:46:02 UTC 2002

Russell Nelson writes:
> Forrest J. Cavalier III writes:
>  > >
>  > >
>  > > The license is identical the Apache Software License except
> that copyright
>  > > is assigned to the OpenE Group, which is an entity of
> Blevins Technologies,
>  > > Inc.  In the event other sponsors show interest in
> supporting our project or
>  > >
>  >
>  > Using wdiff, the statement is accurate.
>  >
>  > The statement about portions developed by UIUC still appears.  Is
>  > that the case with OpenE and should such statements really be part
>  > of any license?

This is a mistake and has been fixed.

>  >
>  > The Copyright which appears is 2000, which doesn't make sense to me.


>  > (I dislike seeing copyrights on licenses anyway.  It implies that
>  > someone modifying the license needs approval...which means that OpenE
>  > needs approval from Apache group....Did they get it?  Does OpenE
>  > want to be bothered when someone wants to take the OpenE license
>  > and modify it?)
> This is a sticky wicket which we have not found a good answer to.  On
> the one hand, licenses that name a copyright holder are not reusable.
> On the other hand, it seems hypocritical for an organization that
> promotes software reuse to NOT promote license reuse.  And as you
> point out, the license does not give any permissions to create derived
> works.
> The OSD is silent on this issue, so we have no grounds for refusing to
> approve a copyrighted license.
> We're having a board meeting today, and I'll bring this issue up.

The license does give permission to create derived works, provided those
derivations are under the same license.  This is clearly impossible if
merging that work with another work under the same restriction, so I see
your point.

I am new to this list, so I may be bringing up sore or old issues but...

If no one owns copyright, who can enforce the terms of the license?  If the
material isn't owned in any way and people have %100 freedom over
relicensing or reusing it, why even have a license or an Open Source license
definition for that matter?  A license creates restrictions, copyright or
otherwise.  Anything truly free from restriction could have no license at

I have felt first hand the complications of working on open source software
copyrighted to someone else, an thusly, not having the right to mix that
code with even another Open Source approved license.  One possible avenue
would be amending the OSD to protect the rights to change the license (and
copyright) on derived works to any other OSI approved license.  This would
allow for complete reuse within the Open Source community while still
protecting/enforcing the rest of the rights in the Open Source Definition.

Even this raises the question, who has rights to relicense and sell a
commercial version as is done with PostgreSQL, MySQL, etc.?  Is this a right
the OSD should protect? If so, who gets this right and who doesn't?


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