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README

# Fully Open Public Licence

This a licence, based on the CDDL-1.0, with modifications inspired by the
Sybase/Watcom licence (which looks also to be MPL derived/inspired, as the
CDDL was). It differs from the CDDL by:

- Referring to 'work' as the unit of coverage, rather than 'file', so as to
  be more like the GPL.
- Using the concepts and wording from the Sybase/Watcom licence, to require
  that source code be made publicly available not just in the case of
  distribution, but also where a work is Deployed.

The SyBase/Watcom licence: https://opensource.org/licenses/Watcom-1.0

The CDDL v1.0 licence: https://opensource.org/licenses/cddl1.txt

## Wny create a new licence?

In this day and age, where there are a plethora of freely available sites to
distribute Free Software from, there is no good reason why the beneficiaries
of Free Software should not be obliged to publish their changes to Free
Software they make use of and benefit from.  Commercial, corporate
beneficiaries particularly.

The GPL did not anticipate the large "cloud" technology companies, and their
operating model.  Where much use is made of Free Software internally, but
where the companies concerned largely do not distribute software - and so
the distribution obligation of the GPL never comes into play.  Some of these
large technology companies are good about contributing back their change. 
However, others are less so, and may even view keeping their improvements
private a competitive advantage.

Additionally, and more parasitically, there are corporations that specialise
in abusing the Free Software made available by others.  They offer
improvements to copyleft (inc.  GPL) licensed Free Software to customers,
including source code.  They will claim to have to honoured their GPL
obligations.  However, they additionally bind customers with side-contracts,
with penalty clauses should their customer ever actually exercise their GPL
rights to distribute the sources, e.g. by terminating support and further
access.

The Fully Open Public Licence requires those technology companies, who may
improve the Free Software they use but never distribute, to make such
improvements available.  Which will ultimately benefit those technology
companies, by increasing the rate at which such Free Software can improve.

The Fully Open Public Licence also explictly disallows the abuse of copyleft
Free Software through restrictive side contracts. Such parasitic abusers
will not benefit, by design.

## So why not the Affero GPL (AGPL)?

The Affero GPL is written with interactive network applications in mind,
e.g., web applications. Its distribution obligations extend only to those
who can actually interact with the covered software. Its unclear to me how
this applies to non-interactive software, if at all. 

It seems much simpler just to make it an unconditional requirement to
publish the changes to software in use.

## Is this a Free Software licence?

To my mind, yes. It's a strong copyleft licence, made by combining two OSI
approved licences (the CDDL and the Watcom), deriving from the Mozilla
Public Licence (MPL). 

The FSF considers the CDDL to be a Free Software licence, but do not approve
it because of incompatibility with the GPL.  However the FSF do /not/
consider the Sybase/Watcom licence to be Free Software, because of the
requirement to publish the source code to Deployed modifications.

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#Watcom

## What about the Debian "Desert Island" test?

The licence at present might fail the Desert Island test.  However, someone
on a desert island is unlikely to have reason to worry about being sued for
licence infringement.

I would like to add wording to permit the public distribution requirement to
be discharged by distributing to the widest audience physically possible, to
fix this, in a future version.

## What about the Debian "Political Dissident" test?

See the above.  Pretty much the same thing.  Again, if I can find some
wording to exempt individuals from the distribution requirement who would
otherwise be put at clear risk to their human rights by state or corporate
actors, then I'll add such wording.

## Why base this off the CDDL?

I like the GPL.  I'd have liked to start with the GPL.  

However, in my limited experience, I've noticed that solicitors/lawyers
don't seem very keen on the drafting of the GPL.  The MPL/CDDL style wording
seems to be held in higher regard by legal professionals. It seems better
defined, less reliant on implicit legal concepts, and more understandable to
me than the GPLv3.

Also, I prefer the CDDLs' wording on patent rights and termination in the
event of a patent suit.  The GPLv3 is as clear as mud, at least to my
non-legal mind, on patent rights and patent non-aggression.

## Have you any legal background, are your changes sound?

No I do not, and I have no idea.

I would greatly prefer to have a legal professional draft these changes.  In
lieu of that, I have tried to approach this by combining existing
professionally drafted texts, and minimised adding my own wording.

If you do have legal training and could help or have suggestions, please do
get in touch.

## Who are you?

Paul Jakma, paul@jakma.org
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