Request for advice on license drafting

chris yoo yoo.chris at
Tue Feb 8 04:54:42 UTC 2005

Hi Matthew.

That is an interesting interpretation of definitions 1 and 7. I would
like to hear from anyone else on how this is reconciliated with the
fact that BSD-style licenses allow re-distribution under different

I understand OSD 7 as meaning that when you redistribute the program
under THAT license, any rights that you were granted must also be
granted to the receiver of that redistribution - i.e. you cannot
redistribute under the same license, but not grant rights that were
granted to you under THAT license. However, this would not restrict
you from redistributing the program under a different license (if you
had been granted the right to do so). The rights are not attached to
the program absolutely - but to the program as distributed under that
particular license.

I think that OSD 7 has been worded somewhat ambiguously. To add to the
confusion here are some excerpts of opinons on this particular

Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law 
By Lawrence Rosen, Chapter 1 
" Certain provisions of the OSD have proven to be of no great
importance. In OSD # 7, because the reference is to an additional
license, it is not clear what role this OSD provision can ever play,
as a practical matter, when reviewing this license for approval...."

Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing
By Andrew M. St. Laurent, p10
" [OSD 7] requires that licenses have legally effective provisions
that give the identical rights to and enforce the generational
limitations, if any, on second and subsequent generations of users"

Thanks Matthew. 


On Tue, 08 Feb 2005 03:13:05 +0000, superm40 at
<superm40 at> wrote:
> According to Def. 7 
> The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is
> redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by
> those parties. 
> Assume you create a program under a open source license according to the
> OSD.  You provide certain rights to those you distribute the program to. 
> Anyone who gets your program can redistribute it, by Def.1   According to
> Def. 7, "The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the
> program is redistributed..."  That means they get the rights under the
> original license, so effectively it's licensed to them by that license.

More information about the License-discuss mailing list