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From Stephen Connolly <stephen.alan.conno...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: New versions of CC licenses
Date Mon, 09 Dec 2013 13:58:47 GMT
On 9 December 2013 03:04, Jeffrey Thompson <jthom@us.ibm.com> wrote:

> Engel Nyst <engel.nyst@gmail.com> wrote on 12/08/2013 09:21:13 PM:
> > On 12/07/2013 09:32 PM, Jeffrey Thompson wrote:
> > > Think if it this way, if A licensed B the code under AL2.0 as a private
> > > deal and not one that A has ever made available to anyone else.  Does
> it
> > > change your mind on whether C should be able to exercise AL2.0 rights
> to
> > > that code after it receives them from B under the GPL?  I would say the
> > > answer to that questions HAS TO BE yes, it does affect the answer.  C
> > > doesn't have an offer from A under AL2.0, so C's only avenue of rights
> is
> > > from B and B's grant is under the GPL, so that's what C is stuck with.
> > >
> >
> > It is not clear to me what means "A licensed B the code under AL2.0 as a
> > private deal".
> Specifically, I meant that A offered the code to B under AL2.0, but didn't
> make the same offer to anyone else.  The offer was solely to B.
> >
> > Does it mean "A made an agreement with B that they give *B* and only B,
> > /by the text of the agreement/, a license that looks like AL2.0"?
> I didn't mean to imply that there was any agreement between A and B that A
> wouldn't offer the code under the AL2.0 to anyone else -- that is, I wasn't
> referring to an exclusive license or anything like that -- just that A
> wasn't making the code generally available.  As an example, if two parties
> got together to do some joint work on a project, they could offer each
> other any contributions to the joint code under AL2.0.  That doesn't mean
> that each author is obligated to offer their code to anyone else under
> AL2.0, but it doesn't mean that they're prohibited either.
> Also, note that I didn't say that B is prohibited from continuing the
> chain of AL2.0 grants and B can certainly make the code available broadly
> under AL2.0, in which case, A's grants would be available to folks through
> B's action.  I was trying to distinguish the situation where A's offer is
> to the public generally from the situation where A's offer of the code was
> only made to B.
> I hope that that's slightly clearer than mud.
> > A is the only copyright holder of the /original work/. As far as C is
> > concerned, B can combine the license of A with their own terms (AL2.0
> > allows it) and the practical effect on C can very well be restrictive.
> OK, B can apply a license to the combined work that, for example,
> prohibits redistribution.
> > But as *licensing rights* are concerned, as also explained in this
> > thread, AL2.0 makes clear that no matter what terms are added, they
> > should not be construed as modifying AL2.0 for the original work.
> If what you mean is that the license offer from A still exists and C can
> take advantage of it, then I agree.  The single point that this whole
> discussion started on was the difference between AL2.0 and CC-BY.  Under
> AL2.0, B can add a restriction to its license.  Under CC-BY, B can't.  In
> both cases rights are available directly from A, and B's actions don't
> negate those separate rights.

Maybe I am mis-reading CC-BY 4.0

2.a.5 Downstream recipients.
> A. Offer from the Licensor – Licensed Material. Every recipient of the
> Licensed Material automatically receives an offer from the Licensor to
> exercise the Licensed Rights under the terms and conditions of this Public
> License.
> B. No downstream restrictions. 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.

So my reading is that under CC-BY 4.0 C receives an implicit offer from A
to the content included by B and B is not allowed to restrict C's ability
to take up that offer.

In other words, to return to the IBM and the icons...

IBM has a license with Acme for the XYZ product that bundles some icons
that are CC-BY released by FooBar Inc.

IBM can have a nice restrictive set of terms... but IBM is not allowed to
limit Acme's ability to take up FooBar's CC-BY license that is implicitly
offered to them under CC-BY as a downstream recipient...

In other words, unless IBM's contract specifically ban's Acme from
receiving content from FooBar or from entering into an agreement with

I think, from my reading, that the difference here with the AL2.0 is that
CC-BY4.0 includes an implicit *offer* of a license from the original
copyright holder.

So to take the case where A offers content to B only under AL2.0, and then
B offers combined content to C under propriatary license... that cannot
happen with CC-BY4.0

With CC-BY 4.0 when A offers the content to B under CC-BY4.0 they are also
extending an implicit offer to any downstream recipients, C, D, E, etc...
but those are direct relationships from A to C, D, E, etc. The 2.a.5.B term
is stating that B may not prevent C, D, E, etc from exercising their rights
to the implicit offer in 2.a.5.A and establishing a direct license from A
for the licensed content.


> > I am somehow amazed by your insistence to erase them completely. I do
> > not think your understanding is correct.
> I'm not trying to erase them completely, merely focusing on one very
> practical point that affects commercial licensors -- whether B would have
> to modify its existing commercial licenses when incorporating A's OSS
> software.  With AL2.0, I don't believe they need to do so, though they
> certainly need to include notices, a copy of the AL2.0, etc.  With CC-BY,
> they might have to, since CC-BY4 explicitly says that you can't include any
> terms that attempt to restrict the CC-BY rights.
> Again, rights that are available directly from A to C pursuant to A's OSS
> license of choice is a different issue, at least for the original point of
> this discussion.
> > I think your perspective is heavily biased by a permanent assumption
> > that only sole/exclusive licenses can exist, so you try to reduce an
> > open license to a set of those [sort of]. I don't think that in (most)
> > open licensing world, such understanding exists, nor practice.
> I don't believe I have that assumption.
> Jeff
> Counsel, IBM Software Group

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