Open source licenses, using licensed source code under new licenses

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Apr 3 21:07:58 UTC 2008

Ben Tilly scripsit:

> I'm guessing that John Cowan didn't look at the patent provisions in
> the Apache 2.0 license.  It is those provisions that make the FSF and
> the Apache foundation say that the Apache 2.0 license can be
> relicensed GPL v3 but not GPL v2.  Since the BSD license, like the GPL
> v2, has no patent protection provisions, I would think that you cannot
> relicense the Apache 2.0 license BSD.

Distinguo.  The BSD license is silent on patents: it grants you certain
rights and imposes certain restrictions, but doesn't grant you other rights
or impose other restrictions that may apply to you anyway.  The GPLv2
has very specific language around patents.

> However I'm not a lawyer.  I could be wrong.  Talk to a lawyer for a
> legal opinion.

And be prepared for it to be "Don't".

Not to perambulate                 John Cowan <cowan at>
    the corridors        
during the hours of repose
    in the boots of ascension.       --Sign in Austrian ski-resort hotel

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