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Fully Open Public Licence
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# 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, email@example.com