License Committee Report for December 2009

Dave Page dpage at
Thu Dec 24 01:02:04 UTC 2009

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 11:02 PM, Russ Nelson <nelson at> wrote:
> Dave Page writes:
>  > Where can I find out the result of this submission?
> Hi, Dave, sorry for not getting back to you.  I was away in India
> during this board meeting, and didn't convey the board's decision to
> you.  The board wishes to know if you have considered relicensing
> under the MIT License?  If you construe your work as a collective
> copyright of all contributors, then any copyright holder is free to
> license under any terms as long as they compensate all other copyright
> holders.  In the open source world, relicensing from your license to
> the MIT license is a change of no effect, so no compensation would be
> due.

Hi Russ,

As I understand it (based on advice from SFLC about a year ago in
relation to a different project), we wouldn't be able to claim
collective copyright as we inherited the original code and licence
from UC Berkeley. It was only appropriate for the other project
because from day one, all code was attributed to the defined group
that made up the project team - and even then, we were advised to get
explicit permission to relicence from all contributors and to avoid
relying on collective copyright. A large part of the reason for that
was that we had a German developer who disagreed with the change, and
German law does not allow individual contributors to relicence.

Regardless of that however, the project's core team has previously
discussed and rejected any change of licence.

Dave Page
PostgreSQL Core Team

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