Implications for switching licenses mid-stream

Arnoud Engelfriet arnoud at
Tue Apr 22 20:26:29 UTC 2008

Wilson, Andrew wrote:
> One minor, but possibly relevant, comment: you need permission from
> all the *copyright holders*, who may or may not be
> the individual contributors themselves.  If said contributors were
> employed by large corporations and giving you code as part of
> their day jobs, then the copyright holders are, in all probability,
> the employers rather than the employees.

Very true. 

> Of course, as Ben Tilly pointed out, you don't need to seek such
> permissions at all if you are relicensing from BSD or other permissive
> licenses, or if you are moving from "GPLv2 or any later" to GPLv3.

This is probably legal nitpicking, but I don't see sublicensing or
relicensing rights in the BSD license, so I'm not sure that I can
simply apply a new license to a BSD codebase as such. For derivative
works, sure. But for the unmodified codebase?


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch & European patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:
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