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

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Wed Jan 18 15:26:06 UTC 2017

On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 3:50 AM, Massimo Zaniboni <
massimo.zaniboni at asterisell.com> wrote:

Sincerely I don't fully understand this sentence. Are you saying that if
> license A allows me to use, modify and distribuite the code of product A
> (like BSD, and ISC are saying), then is it implicit by common laws that I
> can distribuite the software using my license terms?

Yes, exactly.  If you have a license to create derivative works, then those
derivative works belong to you, and you may (if there are no terms in the
license to the contrary) license the derivative works however you choose.
Pace David Woolley, it is not only the *changes* but the *entire*
derivative work of which you are the copyright owner.  Of course you cannot
prevent the making of other derivative works under license from the
original author.

For example, if Alice publishes the dialogue of a movie made by Bob without
a license to do so, then Bob may sue for copyright infringement, and it is
no defense that she only quoted words appearing in the novel by Charlie
from which the movie was made — unless of course Alice has a separate
license from Charlie to do so, and even then Bob may have a copyright
interest, because he selected which of Charlie's words to use.  Since Bob
typically has more money than Charlie, this works out to the advantage of
both Bob and Charlie.

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
Your worships will perhaps be thinking that it is an easy thing
to blow up a dog? [Or] to write a book?
    --Don Quixote, Introduction
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