Best base license to pick?

Mitchell Baker Mitchell at
Fri Feb 11 00:01:50 UTC 2005

Hi Alex

On the question of using the MPL and changing  it you are correct.  We 
did intend to allow this to happen, provided it's clear to people that 
what they re isn't isn't the MPL. 


Alex Bligh wrote:

> --On 09 February 2005 15:53 -0500 John Cowan 
> <jcowan at> wrote:
>>> There is a difference between "license allows" and "license requires."
>>> But anyway, that's just one person's opinion. I don't make decisions
>>> about license approval.
>> Construe, construe!
>> An open-source license must:
>> 1. EITHER permit modified works to be distributed in modified form,
>> 2. OR, forbid such distribution but allow distribution in
>> pristine+patches form.
> OK, well I've done some work based on the MPL v1.1. Whilst it doesn't
> explicitly say one can modify it, it does appear that they anticipated
> this, asking one to change the name etc. - it looks like a suitable base.
> I propose using something similar to the MPL with the following one 
> clause
> substitution. The terms of the modification are based upon the QPL,
> except I have made it even more clearly in compliance with Para 4 of
> the OSD.
> Would such a license be compliant with the OSD? (I am not asking
> right now whether it would be desirable etc.)
> 3.3. Modifications.
> (a) Descriptions
> You must cause all Covered Code to which You contribute to contain a file
> documenting the changes You made to create that Covered Code and the date
> of any change. You must include a prominent statement that the 
> Modification
> is licensed under the under the terms of this License or a future version
> of this License released under Section 6.1 and that the Modification is
> derived, directly or indirectly, from Original Code provided by the 
> Initial
> Developer and including the name of the Initial Developer in (a) the 
> Source
> Code, and (b) in any notice in an Executable version or related
> documentation in which You describe the origin or ownership of the 
> Covered
> Code.
> (b) Distribution Format
> You may not distribute Modifications except under this license. You 
> may not
> distribute Covered Code to which any Modification has been made (by 
> You or
> by any Contributor) unless it is a form which includes both the Original
> Code, and the Modifications in a form that is separate from the Original
> Code such as patches. You may not distribute Modifications which alter or
> remove any copyright notices in the Original Code. Nothing in this 
> Section
> 3.3(b) shall prevent You from distributing software built from Covered 
> Code
> to which Modifications have been made, but in that case You must make the
> Source Code and Modifications thereto available in a manner compliant 
> with
> the conditions of Section 3.2 and this Section 3.3(b).
> (c) License
> By distributing Modifications under this license, a non-exclusive
> royalty-free right is granted to the Initial Developer of the Software to
> distribute your Modification in future versions of the Original Code
> provided such versions remain available under the terms of this 
> License or
> a future version of this License released under Section 6.1, in 
> addition to
> any other license(s) of the Initial Developer.
> Alex

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