[License-discuss] Red Hat compilation copyright & RHEL contract

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Wed Sep 11 18:12:26 UTC 2013

Nick Yeates asked:
> Larry did not state *why* he advises use of this licensing strategy 
> from a business, social or other standpoint.

I do so because my clients expect to profit (either financially or in
reputation credits) for delivering comprehensive solutions that include FOSS
components. That's a business and social good. They are entitled to choose
their own license for their collective works or compilations.

I don't care a fig for the claims of GPL licensors that everything that
touches their code must be under the GPL, although please don't accuse me of
trying to infringe their works. I insist that my clients honor the demands
of GPL licensors that THEIR components be under an enforceable GPL. That is
why I want to see software companies fully disclose the FOSS components (and
licenses) in their software, even as they distribute the overall programs
(including perhaps its proprietary parts) under licenses of their choice.


Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com)
3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482
Office: 707-485-1242
Linkedin profile: http://linkd.in/XXpHyu 

-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Yeates [mailto:nyeates1 at umbc.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:35 PM
To: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Red Hat compilation copyright & RHEL contract

>From http://www.redhat.com/f/pdf/corp/RH-3573_284204_TM_Gd.pdf
> At the same time, the combined body of work that constitutes Red HatR 
> Enterprise LinuxR is a collective work which has been organized by Red 
> Hat, and Red Hat holds the copyright in that collective work.

Bradley Kuhn wrote at 15:46 on Monday:
> . It's admittedly a strange behavior,
> and I've been asking Red Hat Legal for many years now to explain 
> better why they're doing this and what they believe it's accomplishing.

Larry Rosen wrote at 23:28 on Thursday:
> I often recommend that licensing method to those of my clients who 
> combine various FOSS works into a single software package. It isn't 
> odd at all. Even if GPL applies to one or more of those internal 
> components, there is no need to license the entire collective work 
> under the GPL. We've even distributed GPL software as part of collective
works under the OSL.

I too am curious what this "compilation license"ing is and what its benefits
are. Mr Kuhn asked, and Larry responded saying basically 'its not so odd - I
use it often' and Larry did not state *why* he advises use of this licensing
strategy from a business, social or other standpoint.

1) Why larry?
2) What is the "standard" way of doing this? How do most other org's license
many works together?

Full disclosure: I work for Red Hat, though am writing this from my personal
account and perspective. I am a beginner on my knowledge into OSS license
details, so please realize that I am attempting to learn. I could go and ask
around in my company about this, yet I would rather engage with the
community on this for now.

-Nick Yeates
License-discuss mailing list
License-discuss at opensource.org

More information about the License-discuss mailing list