[Approval Request] BSD-Lite license

Paul Guyot pguyot at kallisys.net
Tue Nov 27 21:32:00 UTC 2001

>By no means, and this *is* the key point.

Yes, you're right, it 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.

No, you would violate the Berne Convention, Art 2.3:

>Translations, adaptations, arrangements of music and other 
>alterations of a literary or artistic work shall be protected as 
>original works without prejudice to the copyright in the original 

>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).

Let me quote Berne Convetion Art 2.5 to show you that it's exactly 
the same case:

>Collections of literary or artistic works such as encyclopaedias and 
>anthologies which, by reason of the selection and arrangement of 
>their contents, constitute intellectual creations shall be protected 
>as such, without prejudice to the copyright in each of the works 
>forming part of such collections.

We've got a double point in these two sections:
a/ a derived work or a collection is protected by a copyright as such.
b/ original work/elements copyright shall not be violated.

Doesn't it sound like the whole vs part discussion we had earlier?

>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)

Your excerpt of the US copyright law just talks about point (a). If 
you quoted the first sentence of 17/103/b, you'll have seen that 
point (b) is there as well:

>The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to 
>the material contributed by the author of such work, as 
>distinguished from the preexisting material employed in the work, 
>and does not imply any exclusive right in the preexisting material.

(the US signed the Berne convention for a dozen of years now anyway).

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

The BSD doesn't say documentation but "documentation and/or other 
materials". And if they don't quote the BSD, my point of view is that 
they're violating the BSD license (but can you really prove that it's 
derived from BSD code?).

>>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.

By the EULA plus the BSD, I meant what the BSD allows minus what the 
EULA forbids.

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

I had something like your example above in mind.

>>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.

But B cannot impose this because B holds some copyright on derivative 
work. Software licenses are licenses (therefore on use of things, 
typically on copyright and patents). They're not contracts such as 'I 
agree to give you this book but anything that you paint while you'll 
have it in your bookshelves shall be licensed under these terms'.

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

You're right, this is definitely the key point.

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