Question Regarding GPL

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at
Sat Jan 21 06:05:29 UTC 2006

> > Read the OSL 3.0 language carefully. Actions other than 
> those simply 
> > aren't allowed by the license at all. Other verbs not listed aren't 
> > allowed, and those verbs that are listed "thereby" create 
> derivative works.
> I did, and the way that I read it suggests that there is no 
> permission for to someone re-implement your program, 
> borrowing enough creative ideas from yours that the result is 
> a derivative work under copyright.
>  I'm trying to verify whether this is truly the case, and if 
> it is then whether it is an oversight.

Not an oversight at all. OSL 3.0 is not a license (see the patent grant in §
2) to create independent works. 

You may not need a license, of course. In the absence of a patent nothing
whatsoever prohibits anyone from "borrowing ... ideas" to create an
independent work, and the result is not a derivative work. Only expression
is protected by copyright.


** Lawrence Rosen
** Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices
** Stanford University School of Law, Lecturer in Law
** 3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
** 707-485-1242  *  fax: 707-485-1243
** Author of "Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom
**    and Intellectual Property Law" (Prentice Hall 2004)
** []  

More information about the License-discuss mailing list