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From Jeffrey Thompson <jt...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: MD4/MD5 implementation is non-free
Date Tue, 17 Oct 2006 04:02:44 GMT
"Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote on 10/16/2006 03:44:20 PM:
> On Oct 16, 2006, at 3:38 AM, Joe Orton wrote:
> 
> > An argument has been made that the third-party MD4/MD5 code in APR
> > (specifically, APR-util) is licensed such that it is not 
> > permissible to
> > distribute modified works.
> 
> AIUI, copyright law has separate restrictions on "to make ...
> derivative works" from the restrictions on reproducing works, and
> thus the text is merely reflecting each of the permissions needed
> in turn.  In other words, if you have a license to copy and a license
> to make derivative works, then you have a license to redistribute
> the derivative works as well, since the derivative work is
> covered either by the original's license-to-copy or by the new
> copyright of the entity that created the derivative work.
> 
> The intent of this "licensed" interpretation is further evidenced
> by the requirement that derivative works contain a notice that they
> are "derived from ...", since such a notice would serve no useful
> purpose if the person was not allowed to make copies.
> 
Roy, but the issue here isn't copies, its distribution.  Remember that 
copyright was originally designed for books where the copying step was 
separate from the distribution step and was usually performed by someone 
other than the distributor.  Just because I'm allowed to make an unlimited 
number of copies of a piece of software, that does not mean that I'm 
allowed to provide a single one of those to another party.

So, that leaves us with a situation where, if the text presented is the 
only means of getting the right to distribute, we may have a problem. 
There may be another license somewhere that covers this code.  Then again, 
there may not.  A clarification from RSA might be in order.

Jeff

Staff Counsel, IBM Corporation  (914)766-1757  (tie)8-826  (fax) -8160
(notes) jthom@ibmus  (internet) jthom@us.ibm.com (home) jeff@beff.net
(web) http://www.beff.net/ 


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