[License-discuss] Open Source Eventually License Development

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Sun Aug 18 19:13:46 UTC 2013

John Cowan correctly observed:
> ... there is no escape from the dreaded § 203(a)(5), which explicitly 
> says that you can't contract out of it.

Section 203(a) is only a *conditional* termination. The licensor must take
affirmative steps within a designated and brief period of time [1] to
exercise that right of termination.  Furthermore, it doesn't apply to a work
made for hire. 

Almost everyone ignores this section of the U.S. Copyright Act for
commercial software licensing transactions, which almost all are nowadays.
But please remind software copyright lawyers to get malpractice insurance
with a thirty-five year tail period.

We should be more fearful of the 20-year patent monopoly.


[1] Five years beginning at the end of thirty-five years from the date of
publication or execution of the grant. 17 USC 203(a)(3).  

-----Original Message-----
From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan at mercury.ccil.org] 
Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2013 11:37 AM
To: Lawrence Rosen
Cc: 'Eben Moglen'; license-discuss at opensource.org; mark.atwood at hp.com;
karen at gnome.org; rms at gnu.org; nathan at gonzalezmosier.com; monty at askmonty.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Open Source Eventually License Development

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