> What do you mean by "distribute them under different licenses"?

I mean precisely what we at Apache (and many other FOSS projects) do with BSD and MIT software that we include in our software. I also mean what projects do who take Apache software and distribute it under the GPL, or companies under proprietary licenses.


We encourage that! We even allow sublicensing for those who want to add more terms and conditions.


But we don't claim that it affects in any way the underlying license for the included software.


You keep saying that you can give fewer rights than you got from the original licensor. Maybe so in some negotiated commercial transaction with unsophisticated customers, but you can't take away rights that the original licensor gave to the entire world. No FOSS licensor has ever said you could do that.


As for what FSF says, I'd encourage them to speak for themselves here. But I don't believe they have ever successfully prevented any software distributor from combining GPL software /in the non-derivative-work way/ with other FOSS software under a single non-GPL collective work license. And I've never heard of them threatening any Apache project that might want to do that combination for the convenience of its customers. They can rest assured that their GPL license remains intact on their GPL software for the entire world to use.





Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com)

3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482

Office: 707-485-1242

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From: Jeffrey Thompson [mailto:jthom@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2013 1:10 PM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org
Subject: RE: New versions of CC licenses


"Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote on 12/06/2013 03:31:54 PM:

> SITUTATION 1: You are describing the situation where Apache /gives/
> FOSS works to others who then distribute them under different
> licenses.

    What do you mean by "distribute them under different licenses"?

In my hypo from a few notes ago, A distributes software to B under AL2.0.  B combines it with GPL code and distributes the result to C under the GPL.  As far as C is concerned, the GPL is the only license it needs to read in order to understand what rights it gets from B, even for A's code.  AL2.0 is in the notices file and C can review that if it wants to, but if there ever is a dispute between B and C, the license of record, the terms that get submitted to the court for interpretation, is the GPL, right?  If not, then you're using English wrong.

> SITUATION 2: I'm also concerned about properly describing the
> situation where Apache /takes/ FOSS works of others and then
> distributes them under the Apache License.

You may or may not be able to do that, depending on what the original license is.  I'm confident that if we asked the FSF, they wouldn't say that we can incorporate their GPL code into an Apache project and license it outbound under AL2.0.  At best, Apache can include the GPL code in its project and provide 2 licenses -- AL2.0 for everything not virally impacted by the GPL code, and GPL for the remainder.  But, that's not distributing the project "under the Apache License" in any reasonable interpretation of that phrase.

I'm sure that there is a logic to your approach, but for the life of me, I can't divine what it is.  Can you explain?

Counsel, IBM Software Group.