Implications for switching licenses mid-stream

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Apr 24 13:23:16 UTC 2008

Rick Moen scripsit:
> Quoting Chris Zumbrunn (chris at
> > Right, which is why I wrote that if the project leader doesn't cause  
> > injury to contributors, he could get away with switching between  
> > permissive licenses. But that doesn't mean he actually has the legal  
> > right to relicense. 
> Actually, yes, it does.  What do you think "absence of a tort" means?

Conduct may be non-tortious and yet ineffective for lack of the relevant
legal power.  For example, it is not a tort for me to write a will that
purports to dispose of your property as well as mine, but those clauses
of the will aren't going to make anything happen after I die, because
I lack the relevant legal power.

John Cowan                              cowan at
Humpty Dump Dublin squeaks through his norse
                Humpty Dump Dublin hath a horrible vorse
But for all his kinks English / And his irismanx brogues
                Humpty Dump Dublin's grandada of all rogues.  --Cousin James

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