Files licensed under the CDDL can be combined with files licensed under other licenses, whether open source or proprietary. The Free Software Foundation considers it a free license incompatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL). The incompatibility arises from a complex interaction of several clauses that the CDDL inherited from the MPL. The CDDL was submitted for approval to the Open Source Initiative on December 1, 2004 and approved as an open source license in mid January 2005. In the first draft of the OSI's license proliferation committee report, the CDDL is one of nine preferred licenses listed as popular, widely used or with strong communities. 
The previous license used by Sun for its free software/open source projects was the Sun Public License (SPL), also derived from the Mozilla Public License. The CDDL license is considered by Sun to be SPL version 2.
Example products released under CDDL:
- OpenSolaris (including DTrace, initially released alone, and ZFS)
- NetBeans IDE and RCP
- Project DReaM
The CDDL has been mainly developed by Andrew Tucker (a Solaris kernel engineer at the time) and Claire Giordano.Template:Fact The second CDDL proposal, submitted in early January 2005, includes some corrections that prevent the CDDL from being in conflict with European Copyright law and to allow single developers to use the CDDL for their work.
Although the Debian project officially accepts the CDDL as a free license that follows the Debian Free Software Guidelines, some members of the Debian community still have issues with the CDDL's terms.Template:Fact
In the words of Danese Cooper, who is no longer with Sun, one of the reasons for basing the CDDL on the Mozilla license was that the Mozilla license is GPL-incompatible. Cooper stated, at the 6th annual Debian conference, that the engineers who had written the Solaris kernel requested that the license of OpenSolaris be GPL-incompatible. "Mozilla was selected partially because it is GPL incompatible. That was part of the design when they released OpenSolaris. [...] the engineers who wrote Solaris [...] had some biases about how it should be released, and you have to respect that".
Afterward, in September 2006, Phipps rejected Cooper's assertion.
Andrew Tucker had a discussion with Jörg Schilling in September 2004 at the first OpenSolaris Summit to discuss choosing the right license for OpenSolaris. They decided against using the GPL because of "certain restrictions".Template:Fact Tucker mentioned that many Solaris kernel engineers did not like to use the BSD license in order to prevent code from OpenSolaris from slipping into proprietary software projects. Tucker and Schilling agreed that the license for OpenSolaris should be as open as possible, but didn't clarify what this meant.Template:Fact They also decided that it should allow other free projects, including the Linux kernel, to use code from OpenSolaris because only competition that introduces new ideas is important.Template:Fact
- GNU Free Documentation License
- Dual licensing
- BSD and GPL licensing
- GNU Lesser General Public License
- GNAT Modified General Public License
- BSD License
- Mozilla Public License
- List of software licenses
- Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) Information
- FAQ on CDDL on Open Solaris Site
- The Common Development and Distribution License, Linux Weekly News Editorial
- CDDL Analysis from a DFSG perspective, and Opinion Piece
- Free software licenses
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