License Committee Report for December 2009

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Dec 24 05:30:52 UTC 2009

Josh Berkus scripsit:

> On 12/23/09 3:02 PM, Russ Nelson wrote:
> > then any copyright holder is free to license under any terms as long
> > as they compensate all other copyright holders.
> Realistically, I don't think we could *find* all copyright holders,
> let alone compensate them.

You only have to be prepared to compensate them for their lost economic
interest.  Since the profits on Postgres(ql) are and always have been $0,
this is not really a problem.  What is more, if you have registered the
copyright and your contributors have not, then if they sued for copyright
violation, they would have to prove actual damage, which is hardly likely.

Easy for me to say, but I wish you'd go ahead and relicense unilaterally.
This folk theory of licensing is nothing but a drag on innovation.
My advice?  Just Do It and wait for someone to sue you.  Various
license-trolls will yammer, but so what?  Let them yammer.

> You're talking about hundreds of people, some of whom are deceased.
> How much did the Mozilla license change cost?  Triple that.

The Moz relicensing was an exercise in bending over backwards.  You don't
have to go there.

I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but it isn't the
unauthorized practice of law, either.  If you want legal blessings,
drop some $$$ on Larry Rosen, who *is* a lawyer, understands the issues,
and is good people.

You let them out again, Old Man Willow!                 John Cowan
What you be a-thinking of?  You should not be waking!   cowan at
Eat earth!  Dig deep!  Drink water!  Go to sleep!
Bombadil is talking.                          

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