[License-discuss] Intimacy in open source (SSPL and AGPL)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jan 23 06:26:06 UTC 2019

Quoting Bruce Perens (bruce at perens.com):

> On Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 2:18 PM Nicholas Matthew Neft Weinstock <
> nweinsto at qti.qualcomm.com> wrote:
> > A clear statement about API interaction sounds like it would go a long way
> > to clarify this section.
> Nobody will ever make such a statement, because it would make it easier for
> you to do things they don't want you to do.
Just so.  Also:

Statements about API interaction in relation to the reach of copyright
encumbrance (and thus licensing) aren't going to get you anywhere
because the key dividing line is that of 'derivative work', a term
defined by caselaw and not by engineers or licences.  There is little
reason to think judges will ever be impressed by coders' ideas
concerning internal vs. external APIs, different sorts of linking,
wrappers, remote calls, etc.  Law cannot be reduced to neatly diagrammed
software documentation; there is no 'royal road' to the topic.  Read
caselaw, and/or hire legal help who are supposed to have done so, and/or
stay away from areas of controversy, and/or pay for licence exceptions.

Note that this pitfall is hardly distinctive to open source (let alone
(A)GPL3 workds):  Any copyright-covered use of material under
third-party copyright title raises it.

Cheers,                "I never quarrel with a man who buys ink by the barrel."
Rick Moen                    -- Rep. Charles B. Brownson (R-Indiana), ca. 1960
rick at linuxmafia.com
McQ! (4x80)

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