The Ricoh Source Code Public License is a software license, generally compatible with the GPL, intended for open source software creation.


RPL : Ricoh Silicon Valley, Inc., a California corporation, wrote the license. It is used for a program named by Platform for Information Applications (PIA), a software framework that aims to make the creation and maintenance of information applications as easy as creating web pages. Its goal is to be responsive to the needs of developers. It supports the community of developers who build information applications by helping to create software that extends the open standards of the Web to provide an easy way for specifying processing as well as content Ricoh Innovations, Inc expressed that in their homepage; "There's no better way than open source to develop robust, simple to use, cost effective systems. The best example of this is the World Wide Web, which was founded on open source software. We believe that the PIA technology will extend the power of the web to give offices, especially smaller offices, greater ability to manage their information in the most cost effective way." [1]

GPL compatibilityEdit

RPL didn’t mention explicitly regarding compatibility with the GPL. But we can assume it from ‘License Terms’ in its site that it is compatible with the GPL. The site said that “The license is similar to the Netscape public license. (But it does not include a few controversial clauses which gave Netscape the right to modify and distribute code without making those changes public.)” And the Netscape expressed their Mozilla project site ([2]) that "Any parts of the source are available under either the Netscape Public License (NPL) or the Mozilla Public License (MPL), often in combination with either the GNU General Public License (GPL)"

License clausesEdit

Derivative WorksEdit

It is said at the clause 3.1 of the license that "…the modifications which anyone create are governed by the terms of license. …it may be distributed only under the terms of this License."

Covered WorksEdit

In the clause 3.2 it said that “Any modification must be made available in source code form under the terms of license” But it does not give any comment referring to ‘offers/methods’ for access to it.

Charging money for the programs under the licenseEdit

In the clause 3.5, it describes that one may choose to charge a fee for the governed code. The governed code means that the original code or modifications or the combination of the original code and modifications, in each case including portions thereof. And in that case, one should include the source code In the clause 8.2, it said that 'You should agree in writing to pay Participant a mutually agreeable reasonable royalty for your past and future use of the Original Code or the Modifications made by such Participant.'

Including a copy of the licenseEdit

In the clause 3.1, it defines that anyone must include a copy of this license with every copy of the source code distributed.

Adding to the licenseEdit

In the clause above, it said that one may not offer or impose any terms on any source code version that alters or restricts the applicable version of license or the recipients' rights hereunder.

Distribution under the licenseEdit

It explicitly expressed that RSV(Ricoh Silicon Valley, Inc.) grants one a worldwide, royalty-free, non exclusive license, subject to third party intellectual property claims:

(a) to use, reproduce, modify, create derivative works of, display, perform, sublicense and distribute the Original Code (or portions thereof) with or without Modifications, or as part of a Larger Work; and 
(b) under Patent Claims infringed by the making, using or selling of Original Code, to make, have made, use, practice, sell, and offer for sale, and/or otherwise dispose of the Original Code (or portions thereof). 

Later VersionsEdit

It does not have any comment like ‘any later version or relevant one.

Other relevant aspectsEdit

1. It allows one to include an additional document offering the additional rights such as one’s name. It states that “If anyone created one or more Modification, one may add one’s name as a contributor to the notice. If it is not possible to put such notice in a particular source code file due to its structure, then one must include such notice in a location (such as a relevant directory file) where a user would be likely to look for such a notice.”

2. And it allows one also to choose to offer, and to charge a fee for, warranty, support. But in that case it restrict one may do so only on one’s own behalf, and not on behalf of RSV or any Contributor.


Reviewed by:
Soek Jin
Carnegie Mellon University

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