[License-discuss] Fwd: Yet another question about using libraries with different licensed in OSS

Massimo Zaniboni massimo.zaniboni at asterisell.com
Wed Jan 18 17:33:46 UTC 2017

On 18/01/2017 17:29, Alex Rousskov wrote:

> Again, the license applies to code/software, not some "source file" with
> ASCII art containing badly copied license text at the top.
 > There are
 > many ways to associate code with the copyright/license statement. The
 > more precise that mapping is, the more expensive maintaining a correct
 > association becomes. A centralized list of authors and licenses is a
 > practical approach for most open source projects that incorporate code
 > from many authors using many simple licenses.

I agree on all the rest, but maybe there is a controversial point here...

GPL and Apache License require explicitely to put an header file in each 
source code file with:
- the AUTHORS (but not who made typos/small bug-fixes)
- a short version of the license terms

So the header file for each file is mandatory for Apache and GPL, and I 
think it is suggested also for other licenses. It states explicitely 
that all the code inside the file is released under a certain license, 
and how it can be reused. Obviously the license terms are applied to the 
code, and the file is only a mere container.

I agree on BSD/ISC code reuse: if you want you can cite in a centralized 
place the authors and the original licenses. This respect the terms of 
BSD license, if you want reuse BSD code. This can be practical if you 
want mix different source files, with different compatible licenses. In 
this case you can choose a unique common license to put in the headers 
of new source files, refactor all the code base, and cite in only one 
place the original combined works, with the original compatible licenses.


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