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

Jim Wright jim.wright at oracle.com
Sun Apr 13 18:39:26 UTC 2014

No worries Josh, happy to elaborate.  Answers inline below.


On Apr 12, 2014, at 2:33 PM, Josh Berkus <josh at postgresql.org> wrote:

> Jim,
> On the whole, I like the idea of having a permissive license with a patent
> grant. However, speaking from the developer perspective, I have
> questions about how the license is actually expected to work:
>> (a) the Software, and (b) any piece of software and/or hardware
>> listed in the LARGER_WORKS.TXT file included with the Software (each
>> a “Larger Work” to which the Software is contributed by such
>> licensors),
> - Who writes the LARGER_WORKS.TXT file?

Well, it depends - it could be the author(s) of the Software, or if a party accepting contributions has a specific scope in mind, they can provide a LARGER_WORKS.TXT file with that content for someone who is going to be developing or agreeing to a contribution.

> - What if a downstream fork modifies that file?

A downstream fork cannot modify the file and expect this to be legally effective any more than they could simply edit the license text - the authors of the Software are making a grant of specific scope, and a downstream recipient cannot expand that scope. 

> - Can you give examples of what would go in such a file?

Sure, the first example that I can think of would be Oracle Java, where someone is developing a JSR reference implementation and this therefore allows us to ship that code in either OpenJDK or the proprietary licensed Java packages.  Another example from my own world would be MySQL, which likewise has versions shipping under both GPLv2 and proprietary licenses.

> - What if a downstream distributor fails to include the LARGER_WORKS.TXT
> file with the software?

That's a good one.  This is just another form of the downstream distributor choosing to sublicense the code on other terms (just like they could under GPL or Apache or a proprietary license), and would therefore mean the person receiving the Software would not get the broader patent grant from the downstream distributor.  They also might not know they could actually get a broader grant from the original authors without looking, but it doesn't mean they wouldn't benefit from the broader license, since the authors granted those rights when they distributed the Software originally.  

> Thanks!
> --Josh Berkus
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