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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Third Party FOSS licenses
Date Mon, 03 Aug 2015 01:43:36 GMT
Sam Ruby asked a second good question:
> Expanding on the original question: 
> can I take code that is licensed entirely under ALv2, 
> modify the code, and obey the conditions of the license, 
> and ship the result under a non-FOSS license.
> 
> Lots of attorneys have come to the conclusion that the answer
> to that question is yes.

Me too!  YES!  Do it all the time! But "obey all the conditions of the (ALv2) license."

And if perchance the Apache code includes MPLv2 components that you modify, the same answer!
 YES!  Do it all the time!  But "obey all the conditions of the (MPLv2) license for those
components."

By "ship the result under a non-FOSS license" I assume you mean closed source and proprietary.
YES!  There is nothing wrong with that as long as the FOSS components aren't hidden and their
license conditions are obeyed. That's not entirely "closed source and proprietary" in the
old-fashioned context, but you can't hide FOSS because of our ALv2 license conditions.

/Larry

Lawrence Rosen
"If this were legal advice it would have been accompanied by a bill."


-----Original Message-----
From: Sam Ruby [mailto:rubys@intertwingly.net] 
Sent: Sunday, August 2, 2015 6:20 PM
To: Legal Discuss <legal-discuss@apache.org>; Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Subject: Re: Third Party FOSS licenses

On Sun, Aug 2, 2015 at 9:06 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:
> Sam Ruby asked a very good question:
>
>> The question real live engineers are faced with, and make in 
>> consultation with real live corporate attorneys, is: can I take the 
>> entire work, make modifications, and ship the result in a closed 
>> source project?
>
> The real question?  The short answer is always NO.

Lots of attorneys have demonstrably come to a different conclusion than "always NO".  As several
people have pointed out, this is done all the time.  I've even provided an example (MSIE).

> The degree of "closed source-ness" depends on the source and scope of 
> your modifications. Always. Those are called FOSS "license conditions" 
> (see, e.g., ALv2 § 4, MPLv2 § 3, BSD ¶ 1 and 2).  You must always obey 
> the conditions of the license(s) for the work(s) that you modify.
>
> Among those conditions, even for ALv2, is a level of publication of 
> the license and simple attribution of our copyright and provenance. 
> Anyone who reads those notices realizes that the ENTIRE SOURCE as 
> distributed by Apache is available for free at ASF. Some licenses 
> contain reciprocal or even strong patent conditions. Read the NOTICE file.

I'd like to draw your attention the words "make modifications" in the fragment you quoted,
and expanded upon by [1].

> Is that closed source enough for real life engineers? FOSS is never 
> completely hidden.

Again, that's a different question.  Expanding on the original
question: can I take code that is licensed entirely under ALv2, modify the code, and obey
the conditions of the license, and ship the result under a non-FOSS license.

Lots of attorneys have come to the conclusion that the answer to that question is yes.

> /Larry
>
> Lawrence Rosen
>
> "If this were legal advice it would have been accompanied by a bill."

[1] https://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/www-legal-discuss/201508.mbox/%3C27BD276B-E240-441A-B5AE-4BF5BCE38E51%40yahoo.com%3E

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