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From Jeffrey Thompson <jt...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: New versions of CC licenses
Date Mon, 09 Dec 2013 03:04:21 GMT

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
> > change your mind on whether C should be able to exercise AL2.0 rights
> > 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
> > 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

> 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.

> 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.

Counsel, IBM Software Group
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