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From Pier Fumagalli <>
Subject Re: (Re)Licensing question
Date Tue, 10 Jan 2006 17:30:45 GMT
On 10 Jan 2006, at 16:31, Helma van der Linden wrote:

> Guys,
> I usually keep away from licensing issues, but this time I'd like  
> to know if it is done correctly. I'm looking at a project that is  
> made up of several other open source projects, cocoon is one of  
> them, another (sub)project is licensed under BSD.
> This project is licensed under GPL. It doesn't say that only their  
> part is GPL and others are licensed differently. Looks like they  
> included the entire Cocoon source tree with licensing files for all  
> external jars used and they also left in the ASF license headers in  
> the various files.
> Is this correct?

It definitely is... The ASF doesn't pose any whatsoever restriction  
when its code is being re-distributed by a third party (you could  
virtually "sell" the ASF sources, and noone would be able to stop you).

In this particular case, the entire project you methion is GPL  
licensed, thus, any modifications made to it will be (as well) have  
to be GPLed. This will guarantee that whoever inherits any of the  
files from that project will have to redistribute them using the same  
license (in case of any modification).

The problem might arise for those willing to "modify" code based on  
that project and re-publish those changes:

If they submit changes to (let's say) Cocoon's sources back to the  
project you're mentioning. The person modifying those sources can  
either choose to submit them back to us (the real source) or to the  
project they downloaded (the distributor).

In the first case, we'll accept those modifications only if we can  
make them our own (copyright is assigned and transfered to the ASF)  
and   will include them (hopefully) in our next release.

In the second, those changes will be in the hands of the distributor  
(and thus GPLed). There are two options, either the copyright of  
those changes is transfered to the ASF by the distributor (and then  
we'll follows what's described above) or they'll have to maintain  
those patches themselves as we're not going to include GPL licensed  
code in our repository...

I hope this clears it a little bit...


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