Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL)
Description and High-Level Summary of Changes

Executive Summary

We have carefully reviewed the existing OSI approved licenses and found none of them to meet our needs, and thus have reluctantly drafted a new open source license based on the Mozilla Public License, version 1.1 (“MPL”). We do appreciate the issue of license proliferation, however, and have worked hard to make the Common Development and Distribution License (“CDDL”) as reusable as possible. Additionally, we have attempted to address the problems we perceived in existing open source licenses that led us to conclude that reusing those existing licenses was impractical.

We chose to use the MPL as a base, since it already had a number of attributes we were looking for in a license:

The MPL came closest to meeting our needs. We felt that it had a number of issues, though, which prevented us from simply using that license or one of its variants.

Once we embarked down the path of creating a new license, we focused on certain high level goals. We wished to create a license that was simpler, less burdensome for contributors, clear and consistent in the use of terms and language, and that was as reusable and general as possible. In addition, we made a number of specific improvements, a few of which are highlighted here.

A more detailed list of changes made to create the CDDL license along with the associated rationale can be found here.