[License-discuss] Open source license chooser choosealicense.com launched.
lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Tue Aug 27 21:00:02 UTC 2013
Bradley Kuhn wrote:
> I don't think we need to (or should have) this debate (again) here,
> but I will point out for those following the thread (in case anyone still
> that your theory about the "rarity of derivative work creation" isn't
> shared by most (including me) in the field of Free Software licensing.
I asked for practical examples. You cited none. In the world of copyrights
or most logical pursuits, absence of evidence isn't evidence.
> I note that your entire argument about "the ease of compatibility" is
> predicated on your notion that creating a derivative work rarely happens
> in practice.
Awaiting your evidence to the contrary....
> Thus, I hope you can see that if we disagree on that fundamental point,
> we're going to come to very different conclusions about license
Not entirely, although you and I have disagreed so often in the past that
you missed a major point I made. Most FOSS licenses (including the GPL!)
don't actually define the term "derivative work" with enough precision to
make it meaningful for court interpretation. The court will therefore use
the statutory and case law to determine that situation. Lawyers will lead
the discussion, not engineers. although this list may still listen to your
opinion. Our "different conclusions" won't matter to the judge, though, and
we will have to wait for that court case to arrive. In the FOSS situation,
to the best of my knowledge, nobody (including your group) has ever sued
anyone over the creation of a derivative work. Unless you have evidence to
the contrary, *derivative works* analysis has never mattered to any FOSS
More important, all major FOSS licenses that I'm aware of *except the GPL*
make it abundantly clear that the mere combination of that licensed software
with other software (FOSS or non-FOSS) does not affect ("infect"?) the other
software. So regardless of what you personally believe and will argue about,
those other FOSS licensors are quite comfortable having their software
intermixed (in the "collective work" sense). None of those other licensors
have, to my knowledge, ever sued for infringement on the "derivative work"
theory because of incompatible FOSS licenses.
So what's the worry about license incompatibility all about? Is it merely
that so many licenses are deemed incompatible with the GPL, even though
those other FOSS license are not incompatible with each other in any
important way? If you take the GPL *linking issue* out of the equation,
almost all FOSS software is compatible with all other software (in the legal
sense). It is no big whoop.
From: Bradley M. Kuhn [mailto:bkuhn at ebb.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 9:15 AM
To: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Open source license chooser
Lawrence Rosen wrote at 18:29 (EDT) on Saturday:
> Just don't try to create *derivative works* by mixing them in that
> special and unusual way. ... How often is it truly necessary to make
> *derivative works* by intermixing software?
I don't think we need to (or should have) this debate (again) here, but I
will point out for those following the thread (in case anyone still is
:) that your theory about the "rarity of derivative work creation" isn't
shared by most (including me) in the field of Free Software licensing.
I note that your entire argument about "the ease of compatibility" is
predicated on your notion that creating a derivative work rarely happens in
practice. Thus, I hope you can see that if we disagree on that fundamental
point, we're going to come to very different conclusions about license
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