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Definitely Not an Answer to Questions about Solaris 10

Sun's Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) was published this week. It's a license for.. well, that's the point: Sun isn't saying. They've offered a license, but haven't said what products it will cover.

That's a smart way to float a trial balloon. This might be the license they intend to use with Open Source Solaris 10, but they haven't actually said so. By being close-mouthed, they

  • Generate more press attention for Solaris 10 because of the "mystery"
  • Get to hear what the reaction would be if they did choose this license
  • Avoid negative publicity about any bad aspects of the license (at least for now)

How neat. Of course it is a "bad" license (at least from Linux folks point of view), but so what? That doesn't make Solaris 10 bad, because they haven't said what its license will be.

Clever, I think.

Drag had some extended comments on this:

I don't think that it's bad, and usually I am a GPL fan type guy.
The only real thing that makes it uncompatable is the patent thing,
I beleive.

See here: http://www.sun.com/cddl/cddl.html

Basicly it's the same license that Mozilla uses. They did clean it
up and simplify it a bit, though, and solved a couple issues with
it.

If you take the code and redistribute binaries you have to make
the source code freely aviable.

It's non-viral, unlike the GPL and like the LGPL, so you can
incoporate the code into a larger body of work without having to
change the larger body of work to a compatable license, however
the cddl-licensed code and modifications have to still have the
same license.

The major reason that it would be incompatable with the GPL is that
it has a patent termination clause. If you sue somebody for violating
a patent and base your claim on CDDL code the person using your
suing is using, you lose the right to use and distribute the CDDL
code yourself.

However GPLv3 is suppose to have some patent protection clauses
incorporated into it to, and the GPLv2 has a specific provision
that makes it compatable with future GPL versions. So even though
the CDDL is now incompatble, it seems likely to me that in the
future it will be compatable with Linux/GPL'd code.

At least thats my understanding. I am not completely sure and since
I am not a lawyer this is not a reliable opinion. It's just my
personal observations.

All in all this is a pretty decent license. Much better then I
would of hoped for. Hopefully the bugs get worked out quickly and
Solaris is released under it.

Execuative summary of why's behind modifying the MPL license is
avaible at http://www.sun.com/cddl/CDDL_why_details.html

Under FSF standards (see: Various Licenses and Comments about Them
) the MPL is a valid Free, but not GPL compatable license.

--Drag


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