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From Jeffrey Thompson <jt...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: New versions of CC licenses
Date Wed, 04 Dec 2013 22:46:42 GMT

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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