[Approval Request] BSD-Lite license

John Cowan jcowan at reutershealth.com
Tue Nov 27 20:57:03 UTC 2001

Paul Guyot wrote:

> This is not the key point of your argumentation, but B isn't the sole 
> copyright owner of b. She's just *one* copyright owner.

By no means, and this *is* the key point.  Suppose I wish to
write a scholarly work on the subject of your poetry, and I
intend to quote *in extenso* from it; say, seven poems in their
entirety, to which I provide detailed textual notes.

I apply to you or your publisher, and you grant me permission
to do this.  (There is no question here of fair use, as the
"amount & substantiality" test is failed.)  Your permission is
perhaps gratis, perhaps on payment of a fee.

My book is now a licensed derivative work of your poems.  But
*I alone* am the copyright owner of it, not you.   I can issue
it under any license I please.  If I want to issue my book under
the GNU Free Documentation License, and you don't want to allow
your poems to appear in this fashion, it is up to you to draw up
your license (for me to reprint your poems) in such a way as to
prevent this.

This case is to be sharply distinguished from the case in which
I am creating an anthology of poetry, and you (and others) license
me to reprint your poems in it.  Then I have a copyright only in
the arrangement of the poems (and in whatever front matter I
contribute), and anyone else may create a similar anthology
without infringing mine, provided the exact contents and their
order are not duplicated.  Of course, the other person will need
your permission just as I did.  In this case, there really are
multiple copyright holders (of the underlying works).

> This is where your argumentation fails, IMHO. A is the copyright owner 
> of a part of b in the US copyright law and Berne convention ways to see 
> things.

A is the copyright owner of one of the parts (viz. a) that went
to make up b, but is not the owner of b.  Title 17, Section 103
says very plainly:

	The copyright in such [derivative] work is *independent*
	of, and does not affect *or enlarge* the scope, duration,
	ownership, or subsistence of, any copyright protection
	in the preexist-ing material.

(emphasis added)

> b's documentation/material (as defined in BSD clause #2) shall include 
> the BSD (if it doesn't, my guess is that Microsoft is doing exactly the 
> same mistake as the authors of open source software containing both GPL 
> and BSD-licensed code).

Microsoft appears to evade this by providing no documentation for the
FTP client whatsoever.  :-)

> Therefore, the EULA for b is in fact the EULA plus the BSD.

By no means.  The license for b does *not* allow you to copy,
distribute, modify, etc. etc. the binary.  You may not give it
to your friend to run on his Windows emulator, nor patch it with
a binary editor to add features, nor any other such thing.
The EULA and the EULA alone controls it.

> In other words, A creates some work a and puts some conditions on 
> creating modified versions of it. B takes a and creates a derivative 
> work b on A's conditions. Since A holds some copyright on b, B cannot 
> license b without A's conditions.

What conditions do you have in mind here, wrt the BSD?

> And if what you wanted is A's work 
> only, you can obtain a license from A.

To be sure.

> If A has no copyright on b, then B has no copyright on c I could create 
> from his work. So I can't see how the GPL (or whatever) would protect 
> B's work, I could license it in any way provided that I make a little 
> addition/change.

Because B (via the GPL) says you aren't allowed to create and publish c
without licensing it under the GPL.  That does not mean that B is a
copyright owner of c.

> The contract B has with me is there because B holds some copyright on b. 
> This is the very root of copyleft.

Just so.  But that still does not make B a copyright owner of c.

>> 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
>>    must display the following acknowledgement:
>>      This product includes software developed by the University of
>>      California, Berkeley and its contributors.
> I think that this is much weaker than clauses #1 & #2, because it says: 
> features of this software, not features of this software or any software 
> derived from it.
> Let's say that you write some software using Xerces (which is under 
> Apache and has this very clause). If you don't mention that it's doing 
> XML parsing/generating (it might be used only internally), you don't 
> need to quote the advertising acknowledgement.
> But you need to include the whole license in the source 
> code/documentation because of clauses #1 & #2.


 I still can't see if the 
> GPL is incompatible with that why it would be compatible with clauses 
> #1-#3 (AFAIK, the GPL doesn't include #3's restriction as well). Just 
> like I don't understand how the GPL would be compatible with the new 
> Zope license.
> Paul

Not to perambulate             || John Cowan <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
    the corridors               || http://www.reutershealth.com
during the hours of repose     || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
    in the boots of ascension.  \\ Sign in Austrian ski-resort hotel

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