Sun presents new open source license

The website ComputerWeekly.com reports that Sun Microsystems has a new open source license 125:200412:dmcacncfamieofeochbn” rel=”external”>submitted at the Open Source Initiative (OSI). The new license, named the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), is based on the Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 1.1. It is unknown if the license will be used by Sun for a specific software product, but it is possible that Solaris will be released under CDDL.

Sun has chosen to only make changes to the MPL, because the license does not meet Sun’s wishes on all points. The changes Sun made are described in a document on the company’s website. The changes mainly relate to patents. According to Claire Giordano, the Sun employee who submitted the license to the OSI, it is likely that the license is not “compatible” with the General Public License (GPL) that Linux uses, among others. This means that it will not be possible to combine CDDL software with GPL software and, for example, Solaris will not be able to use device drivers developed for Linux and vice versa.

The OSI issues a seal of approval for licenses that are truly ‘open source’. Software is not considered by many to be open source until it is released under a license approved as such by the OSI. Software manufacturers can submit their license to OSI to qualify for this seal of approval.