[License-discuss] proposal to revise and slightly reorganize the OSI licensing pages
cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Fri Jun 8 03:18:21 UTC 2012
Rick Moen scripsit:
> I keep hearing a limited group of people speaking of this alleged tort
> ('purporting to sublicense'), but fail to find it in copyright law.
Is there actually such a thing as copyright sublicensing? I suspect not.
In which case "purporting to sublicense" an unchanged copy of a work
is usurping the copyright owner's right to control the license, and
likewise for a copy whose changes are de minimis. You can license your
derivative work however you like, consistently with the original license,
but that's not a sublicense: it is the license of the new work.
> Reuse of 2-clause BSD code that satisfies its two requirements
> (retention of copyright notice in source code, reproduction of copyright
> notice and warranty disclaimer in documentation and other materials
> provided with binaries) complies with the licence.
Reuse, yes. Changing the license terms on a copy, no.
>  This dumb shibboleth about 'sublicensing BSD code' came up often
> enough that Ernie Prabhakar at OSI nicely FAQed it, back in 2008.
You'll note he agrees with me: only derivative works can have a different
license, though it's a messy fact-based question which modified copies
are derivative works and which are the original.
John Cowan cowan at ccil.org http://ccil.org/~cowan
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths
led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen. I am the clue-finder,
the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number. --Bilbo
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