Open Library Public License concept.

David Ryan david at
Fri Feb 11 02:16:58 UTC 2005

In the short time I've been reading this list, and from reading archived 
posts I've seen there has been a number of people interested in 
releasing software under a license similar to the QTPL. However found 
the QTPL lacking or incompatible with other licenses.  In the next month 
or two I will be approaching a lawyer to attempt to create such a 
library license which is hopefully less lacking.  I'm hopeful that they 
will word the license so that it can be reused (and also allow it to be 

Before I approach the lawyers, I'd like to get some feedback on the 
basic concept.  See if the concept is compatible with OSI, and if anyone 
has any objections.  I'd also be interested to know if anyone would 
reuse such a license.

The basic blocks of the license will be the following:
- The library license will be based on the concepts of a standard 
copyleft license such as OSL or GPL.
-  A clause will be added which licenses back contributions to the 
original author.
-  A clause will be added which outlines how the library can be used:
    * Any deployed(as defined in OSL) software must be licenced using an 
OSI approved license.
    * If the items are not available to the general public, you must 
supply one on request.

The first additional clause to license back contributions could be 
handled in the same way Sun handles OpenOffice with a separate copyright 
attribution.  It is in the license to protect the original author 
against developers who find a bug and fix it and release a forked 
version and do not allow that contribution to be added into the 
original.  If the software gets tainted with fixes from the forked 
version the original author will not be able to use any other license.

The second clause is designed to be more liberal than something like the 
Reciprocal Public License which forces people who use the library to use 
the RPL.  Allowing software that uses the library to be licensed using 
an OSI approved license allows more flexibility in using the license.

The final clause is really just a clarification of the previous clause.  
It is really designed to make sure commercial companies using the 
library are required to release their the source code to the software 
that uses the library.

One concept I'd like to achieve with this license is that users can 
build software using the library and have more control over the terms of 
their own license.  I'd also like users of the library to be able to 
build software and aslong as they retain copyrights be able to switch to 
a commercial license in the future.

I look forward to your feedback,

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