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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: New versions of CC licenses
Date Thu, 05 Dec 2013 03:00:31 GMT
Jeffrey Thompson wrote:

If there is a CC-BY set of icons that you want to include in your commercial
product, you cannot do so without changing your license.  You may have the
freedom to do that, for example, if you haven't licensed that product to
anyone yet.  But, you may not.  Your customer may have licensed version 1.0
of the product under a pre-existing agreement that covers upgrades for a
particular period of time.  So, when you come out with version 2.0
containing the new and improved icons, your existing customer automatically
receives the right to use that version under the pre-existing license, which
does not contain CC-BY terms.  So, you're out of luck.  You cannot use CC-BY
licensed icons in your product and simultaneously satisfy the CC-BY license
and your prior agreements with your existing customers.  That's why its
inconsistent.



You have confused me completely. Is this your scenario:

 

1. Version 1 of your product doesn't have CC-BY icons.

2. You licensed version 1 to your customer promising upgrades in the future.

3. You choose to include Apache software containing CC-BY icons in version 2
of your product.

4. Now you say you can't deliver that new product to your customer because
of some "inconsistency"?

 

I don't understand that business model at all. Is this really what happens
with your IPLA? It seems that your problem may be inconsistent promises that
you made to your own customers involving future enhancements to your own
products. 

 

In any event, this has nothing to do with Apache projects and our software.
Why should your promises to your customers prevent Apache from including new
contributions - including under CC-BY - in our projects? We have a NOTICE
file to inform you of what our projects have chosen to do, and you are free
to remove the CC-BY (or any other) dependencies if you or your customers
don't want them. 

 

Please don't burden Apache with your own licensing idiosyncrasies. Apache
should decide what components to include in its software based primarily on
its value to our projects, and as long as we have the necessary licenses to
distribute our software to you collectively under Apache License 2.0. Read
our NOTICE files for important warnings that might affect your decision to
use our software unaltered. You are free to alter that software if necessary
to conform to your own business models!

 

/Larry

 

Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com
<http://www.rosenlaw.com/> )

3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482

Office: 707-485-1242

Linkedin profile: http://linkd.in/XXpHyu 

 

From: Jeffrey Thompson [mailto:jthom@us.ibm.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 2:47 PM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org
Subject: Re: New versions of CC licenses

Richard Fontana <rfontana@redhat.com> wrote on 12/04/2013 02:32:53 PM:

>   You may not offer or impose any additional or different terms or
>   conditions on, or apply any Effective Technological Measures to, the
>   Licensed Material if doing so restricts exercise of the Licensed
>   Rights by any recipient of the Licensed Material.
> 
> 'Licensed Material' means the original stuff put under CC BY.

My point is that the Apache license does not contradict a commercial
licensing model, whereas the CC-BY license does.

If there is a CC-BY set of icons that you want to include in your commercial
product, you cannot do so without changing your license.  You may have the
freedom to do that, for example, if you haven't licensed that product to
anyone yet.  But, you may not.  Your customer may have licensed version 1.0
of the product under a pre-existing agreement that covers upgrades for a
particular period of time.  So, when you come out with version 2.0
containing the new and improved icons, your existing customer automatically
receives the right to use that version under the pre-existing license, which
does not contain CC-BY terms.  So, you're out of luck.  You cannot use CC-BY
licensed icons in your product and simultaneously satisfy the CC-BY license
and your prior agreements with your existing customers.  That's why its
inconsistent.

Apache only requires you to provide a copy of the Apache license to your
customer, so when you build version 2.0, you include a Notices files with a
copy of the Apache license describing the fact that the icons are available
under this great open source license.  If the customer cares enough about
the icons, it knows where to get them under the Apache license.  If it
doesn't, it lives with the previously negotiated license.  In neither case
are you in violation of your obligations either to your customer or the open
source project from which you obtained the icons.


> I have to agree with Larry here, at least in the context of the
> specific licenses that have been mentioned in this thread. None of the
> BSD licenses gives you permission to alter the application of the BSD
> license to the original stuff that was under the BSD license

I'm not claiming that anyone other than the copyright owner has the right to
alter the original grant.  I'm stating that there is no rule that says that
a licensee has to pass on all of the rights that it received from the
copyright owner.  So, as long as the licensee's outbound license is a subset
of the rights obtained, unless there is a specific condition that states
that the outbound license MUST be the same (e.g., the GPL and, it seems,
CC-BY), the licensee is OK. 

BTW, this is the entire basis of the FSF's concept of GPL-compatibility.  A
license is compatible with the GPL if it provides at least GPL-equivalent
rights and therefore someone can take code under that license and license it
outbound under the GPL.  Whether we think that making things GPL-compatible
is a good idea, the existence of the concept of GPL-compatible licenses
proves that Larry is incorrect.

Jeff


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