Fwd: Re: RPL version 1.1

Mahesh T Pai paivakil at vsnl.net
Thu Oct 17 17:26:19 UTC 2002

Randall Burns wrote:

 > We do not get copyright ownership of contributors code. They retain
 > the copyright to their work at all times, however they have to
 > agree as with other open source licenses, to allow their software
 > to be licensed under the terms of the RPL. ''''' This clause is
 > included to ensure that the Licensor can pursue a dual-licensing
 > strategy, nothing more. If there is terminology that would support
 > that goal better then we're open to it.

May I clarify that I do not mean that this provision is contrary to 
the OSD?

Issue is that contributors will think twice before making their 

The impression I get from a general reading of the license is that you
(TPI) gets rights to redistribute contirbutors' modifications under
the RPI. This particular provision enables you to dual license any
code you are entitled to distriute under the RPL.

The problem is that when somebody contirbute intending to have his /
her contribs to be OSS, there is always the danger (well you do not
intend _now_, but the thing is there in black and white on a screen / 
paper, isnt it?) of the contribs going other non OSS way.

You can make it clear that you will not put contribs from others under 
non-rpl license?

 > As I read it, no additional license execution is required by this
 > clause, whose requirement is simply one of providing community
 > notification, preferable through the focal point of the original
 > Licensor, but alternatively through a public news group or other
 > forum a Google search would turn up. The Licensor and Contributors
 > must be able to feel confident however that all Extensions covered
 > under this license are published for the good of the community and
 > that people are not able to keep their extensions private simply by
 > failing to announce them.

You have clubbed your answer two distinct issues. and missed the point 
I am trying to make.

Issue 1:-  in 5.1 of your license:-

 >> As a condition to exercising the rights and licenses granted
 >> hereunder, You hereby assume sole responsibility to secure any
 >> other intellectual property rights needed, if any. .... it is
 >> Your responsibility to acquire that license before distributing
 >> the Licensed Software.

Saying "this s/w _depends_ on third parties' s/w which is under 
different license terms,  To use this s/w you also need to acquire the 
license to the s/w on which this s/w depends."

is different from:-

"we do not know whether this s/w _contains_ s/w covered by other 
licenses.  If does, (1) we are not accepting responsibility for it. 
(2) it is for you to find out, if such third party s/w is actually 
present in this, and acquire appropriate licenses or face the music 
from such third parties."

 From the preamble, I understand you mean the first, but in the 
license, you say the second.

Issue 2:-

Your requirement in 6. et al., that the user
shall not use or modify the s/wunless he discloses the modifications made.

I need to repeat:-
 > These conditions amount to a restriction on further re-
 > distribution.

and add, _use_ also.  I missed it in my earlier post.

 >> I don't see any restrictions on re-distribution here. The clause
 >> covering the potential for third-party licenses to be required is
 >> in several OSI approved licenses while the notification clause
 >> applies only to the first deployment of Extensions (unless the
 >> means for aquiring updates over time should change). Neither
 >> appears to create a restriction on re-distribution.

 >> The GPL has a clause almost identical in intent to this one,
 >> which is to provide a clearly defined mechanism for determining
 >> how to mix a viral license with other potentially viral licenses
 >> etc.

GPL (effectively) says, "if you want to use portions of GPL'd s/w 
under a different license", ie., export.

You are speaking of 'import' of other licenses into RPL.

 >> Yes. Since the license is Copyright Technical Pursuit Inc.
 >> nothing other than this clause would allow a party to create a
 >> legal derivative license. While the OSI wants to encourage use of
 >> existing licenses, that's a decision the OSI makes on a
 >> license-by-license basis. Our goal however is to support other
 >> vendors who wish to create licenses for their own software, open
 >> or otherwise. Such vendors are free to use the RPL as a template
 >> thanks to this clause.

Well, legal agreements are not the same thing software.  And if you 
propose to permit use as template, it is better that you permit people 
to know it as the RPL.  That they will know what it is they are 
reading on the screen.

Mahesh T Pai.

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