[License-review] ESA-PL Weak 2.3

Pamela Chestek pamela at chesteklegal.com
Wed Oct 30 01:21:48 UTC 2019

I am puzzled by Section 3.1 of the Weak 2.3 license. Can a Licensor 
choose what license will be used for their distribution? If I receive 
code under the ESA-PL Weak Copyleft license, can I sublicense it under 
the GPLv3? If that's true, doesn't that mean that every Contribution was 
licensed under at least four licenses, the ESA-PL Weak, ESA-PL Strong, 
GPLv2 (and later versions) and CeCill v2 (and later versions)?

In Section 3.2.1 of the Weak and Strong licenses you use the term 
"extensions of the Software." How will the word "extensions" be 
interpreted? When is something an "extension of the Software" and not an 
External Modules or System Libraries? Is "extension" a legal or software 
term of art?

In the same section it's not clear whether "in or on a volume of a 
storage or distribution medium" is an additional limitation on "such as 
to form a larger program." In other words, if a separate work is 
combined with the Software to form a larger program, but it's not in or 
on a volume of a storage or distribution medium, does that mean the 
license does not apply? (I suspect the wording "in or on a volume of a 
storage or distribution medium" is altogether unnecessary).



Pamela S. Chestek
Chestek Legal
PO Box 2492
Raleigh, NC 27602
+1 919-800-8033
pamela at chesteklegal.com

On 5/6/18 9:47 AM, Carsten Gerlach wrote:
> On 03.03.2018 01:18, Bruce Perens wrote:
>> 3.1 Copyleft Clause.
>> All Distribution of the Software and/or Modifications, as Source Code or
>> Object Code, must be, as a whole, either under (a) the terms of this
>> License or the ESA-PL Strong Copyleft license *v2.2* or (b) any later
>> version of these Licenses unless the Software is expressly Distributed
>> only under a specific version of the License by a Contributor or (c) the
>> terms of a compatible license as listed in Appendix A to this License.
>> Any obligation in this License to Distribute under the terms of this
>> License, in particular as set out in Sec. 3.2, shall be construed as
>> referring to “this License or a compatible license”.
>> Do you really mean v2.3 here?
> Yes, it should read v2.3.
>> 3.2.4 _Combinations_. You may create a Modification (the “Combination”)
>> by combining or linking the Software or Modifications thereof (the
>> “Covered Code”) with additional code or software (the “External Code”)
>> not governed by the terms of this License and Distribute the Combination
>> - in Object Code form under any license terms, and/or
>> - *in Source Code form the External Code’s Source Code* under any
>> license terms
>> and the Covered Code’s Source Code under this License,
>> It would read better as "in Source Code form *with *the External Code’s
>> Source Code under any license terms"
> Yes, I agree.
> Kind regards, Carsten
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