from advogato, open source licenses revokable?

Alex Russell alex at
Sun Jan 26 07:37:58 UTC 2003

Thanks Larry,

On Saturday 25 January 2003 22:30, Lawrence E. Rosen wrote:
> 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
> explicit.

Wonderful. The code I'm concerned with is actually licensed under the AFL 
(with your help a couple of months ago we relicensed from MIT/X11).

> 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.

What is your opinion of the seeming fuzziness with regards to whether or not 
many Open Source licenses would be governed under copyright vs. contract 

Alex Russell
alex at
alex at
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