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From Sam Ruby <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Re: Third Party FOSS licenses
Date Mon, 03 Aug 2015 01:19:33 GMT
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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