[License-discuss] step by step interpretation of common permissive licenses

Christopher Sean Morrison brlcad at mac.com
Wed Jan 18 15:26:14 UTC 2017

> On Jan 13, 2017, at 1:05 PM, Massimo Zaniboni <massimo.zaniboni at asterisell.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I tried interpreting the terms of common permissive licenses following a "step by step" approach, like if they were instructions in programminng code, and I found with my big surprises that doing so they became non permissive licenses, or permissive licenses only using some "border-line" interpretation.

I would caution that many seemingly ordinary words can take on a different or more specific legal meaning in court.  That said... this was not your error.

> http://another-ticket-in-the-wall.blogspot.it/2016/11/oss-licenses-debugging.html
> Probably I'm wrong, but I'm curious to understand where. So if someone has the patience to read the post,  can report here a fault part of my reasoning, so I can understand better and maybe discuss?

You make a mistake assuming C's license must be involved in the compliance of B's attribution notice (clause 2) requirement.

More specifically, you ask "Is C respecting the BSD-2 license of B?"

You do not know and do not need to know this by looking at C's license.  B's license is very flexible in terms of where the attribution notice maybe placed.  As long as C puts it in the documentation or other materials provided with the distribution, it will be in compliance.  Many commercial products, for example, comply by putting B's license on a credits or legal section accessible to users at runtime from within the software itself, and that is fine.


More information about the License-discuss mailing list