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From Jeffrey Thompson <jt...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: New versions of CC licenses
Date Thu, 05 Dec 2013 12:18:48 GMT


Richard Fontana <rfontana@redhat.com> wrote on 12/04/2013 10:19:00 PM:

> From: Richard Fontana <rfontana@redhat.com>
> To: legal-discuss@apache.org, lrosen@rosenlaw.com,
> Date: 12/04/2013 10:19 PM
> Subject: Re: New versions of CC licenses
>
> On Wed, Dec 04, 2013 at 04:52:07PM -0800, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> > Jeffrey Thompson wrote:
> >
> > > There is no general copyright principle that says that a licensee has
> > > to pass on all rights that it received from its licensor.  If
> you can provide
> > > a cite to one, please do.
> >
> > How does IBM avoid passing on those rights?
>
> ... the issue
> depends on the specific license, does it not?

Yes, it does.  That's my point.  The CC-BY license (and the GPL) says that
you have to pass on all rights,  The Apache license does not.

> It is not clear to me
> where in the Apache License 2.0 permission is granted to a licensee to
> pass on fewer than all the rights it received from its licensor as to
> the work which the licensor licensed.

The Apache license does not say that you can pass on fewer rights.  It
doesn't have to.  That's the normal case.  You only have to address that
issue when you want to require the licensee to include all of the rights.

> (Or maybe I should say the
> better interpretation of the Apache License 2.0 seems to be that it
> does not.)

I would agree with you if there was a sentence that said something close to
that in the Apache license.  There is the requirement that you provide a
copy of the Apache license, which is a "notice" requirement, not a
licensing one.

And there's the explicit permission to use your own terms for your
derivative work as long as you are in compliance with the conditions of the
Apache license -- a reference to the notice requirement, not removing
copyright and other notifications, etc.  This is about as clear as you can
get that a commercial user doesn't need to change their outbound license.

Jeff
Counsel, IBM Software Group
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