[License-review] Approval: BSD + Patent License
lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Thu Jan 21 18:53:10 UTC 2016
I agree completely with Jim Wright on this point:
> Among the other differences from the UPL, I think we can safely
> agree that there are nontrivial legal differences between being
> able to sublicense a piece of code and not being able to.
There are many such subtle and nontrivial differences among the professionally-written OSI-approved licenses. Sublicensing is one example.
I also agree that "BSD+Patent" (perhaps revised?) should be approved. It is OSD compliant.
I don't think anyone here has adequately described all the important yet subtle differences among our FOSS licenses or even properly categorized them. Yet. Fortunately we can freely "aggregate" all this FOSS stuff together as long as we "read" the associated FOSS licenses for the components.
From: Jim Wright [mailto:jim.wright at oracle.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2016 10:28 AM
To: License submissions for OSI review <license-review at opensource.org>
Cc: John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org>
Subject: Re: [License-review] Approval: BSD + Patent License
Oh, I understand your argument here - and to be clear, my comment was not intended as criticism of the license (as I’m sure McCoy knows), just a note of different effect, however one interprets the mechanisms of copyleft. If one, e.g., has a commercial contract with a provision requiring all code you give the counterparty to be under particular terms, you might not be able to give them code under BSD+PL because you arguably cannot relicense it, on those terms or any others. This is a difference from the UPL.
As to anyone’s interpretation of BSD compatibility with the GPLv2, I don’t think we need to deep dive this here (we can take it offline, and let’s please do - it would be impolite to hijack the thread on McCoy’s proposal for a long running debate reading on many other things). Among the other differences from the UPL, I think we can safely agree that there are nontrivial legal differences between being able to sublicense a piece of code and not being able to.
> On Jan 21, 2016, at 9:34 AM, John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> wrote:
> Jim Wright scripsit:
>> - The UPL expressly permits sublicensing, the BSD+PL does not [...]
>> such that under the BSD+PL you could not necessarily, e.g., cut and
>> paste code into something licensed under terms that require the
>> entirety of the work to be under a single license, or offer the work
>> on proprietary terms, and purporting to do so could be infringing.
> Traditionally, neither of these has been seen as an issue with the BSD
> licenses. Because they grant licenses directly from the named
> contributor(s) to whoever has the source code, there is no need to
> derive one's license through a sublicensor: it is original. (This is
> also why the BSD licenses don't explicitly grant access to the source
> code: they
> *presume* that you have the source code in hand.) This is a
> consequence of open source licenses being public licenses, meaning
> that everyone is a licensee.
> The GNU GPL and similar licenses require that a composite work
> containing any GPLed code be licensed *as a whole* under the relevant
> flavor of copyleft license, but they do not and cannot require that
> *no part* of the code be licensed under any other license (the term
> "entirety" is somewhat ambiguous here). If you receive a work in
> source form under, say, the GPLv2, then you have a GPLv2 license to
> the whole work, but any BSD snippets in it are *also* licensed to you
> on BSD terms directly by the BSD licensor, and you can extract them and use them in BSD-ish ways.
> This is the principle by which an anthology, for example, that
> contains public domain short stories (I have such a thing on my desk
> at present), cannot change the fact that stories embedded in it which
> are in the public domain are still in the public domain, and I can
> copy them out of the book (assuming they have not been modified by the anthologist).
> For the typical case of BSD snippet reuse in proprietary works, the
> same thing applies in principle, but you cannot typically extract the
> snippet from the binary because most proprietary licenses forbid
> reverse engineering, so your BSD license to them is not very useful.
> John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan cowan at ccil.org
> The experiences of the past show that there has always been a discrepancy
> between plans and performance. --Emperor Hirohito, August 1945
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