from advogato, open source licenses revokable?

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Sun Jan 26 04:30:39 UTC 2003

Because of the very confusion that is reflected in the discussion you
referred to, my two new licenses (the Open Software License and the
Academic Free License) make "perpetual" grants.  I believe in being

Note that, for public policy reasons, under the Copyright Act all
licenses are terminable "at any time during a period of five years
beginning at the end of thirty-five years from the date of execution of
the grant...."  17 U.S.C. 203(a)(3).  This is true even if the license
states that it is "perpetual."  Even in that rare situation, though,
derivative works prepared before termination may continue to be used but
no additional derivative works may be created.  

/Larry Rosen

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alex Russell [mailto:alex at] 
> Sent: Saturday, January 25, 2003 5:46 PM
> To: license-discuss at
> Subject: from advogato, open source licenses revokable?
> Hi,
> I'm new to the list, so please forgive me if this has been 
> covered before (a 
> brief look through the archives didn't turn anything up).
> I was rather alarmed at the discussion here:

Can anyone comment in a more definitive way on this issue? There seems
to be 
some confusion, and I'd like to get a good answer for a client of mine.


Alex Russell
alex at
alex at
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