Subject: RE: OSL for libraries (was Re: Submitted for Approval: OSL 3.0 and AFL 3.0)
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 08:13:58 -0700

Gordon Kindlmann wrote:
> Along the same lines, I think its informative to consider in 
> more detail how OSL 3.0, as applied to a library, fits into 
> the landscape of these existing library licenses.
> 
> * Is the author of a collective work which includes a copy of 
> my library required to enable users of the collective work to 
> swap out my library and replace it with their own 
> modification of the library?  This is the somewhat onerous 
> burden of LGPL Section 6.

Not in OSL 3.0. The collective work is a separate original work of
authorship. The only burdens its licensor has are to follow the rules of the
OSL 3.0 with respect to the Original Work (your library) that is contained
in his/her collective work (e.g., source code available, attribution
requirements, patent defense provisions, etc.) but not the requirement you
suggest.

> * Is the author of such a collective work required to notify 
> users that the collection includes a copy of my library, by 
> identifying the name of my library, or by duplicating the 
> copyright notice that accompanies my library?  This is 
> required by LGPL, FLTK, and FOX.

Copies of the Original Work (your library) must be made available in source.
A copy of your library is being distributed, remember.

> * If there is such an attribution requirement, how can I waive it?   
> wxWindows does away with any attribution requirements.

A licensor can waive any provision of his license with respect to his own
original works.

> * If the author of the collective work decides that my 
> library needs some modifications prior to its copying into 
> the collective work, must he or she first independently 
> license the modified library under OSL 3.0?  I believe your 
> previous message answers this in the affirmative, so in this 
> respect OSL 3.0 is, as you said, like LGPL, as well as well 
> FLTK and FOX, but unlike wxWindows.

Yes, he or she must honor the obligations of OSL 3.0 for the library. 

> * If my library in source form is licensed under OSL 3.0, 
> doesn't its compilation (in the computer science sense) into 
> binary object code form create a derived work of my library, 
> since compiling is one kind of "translation"?  If so, linking 
> an executable with my *compiled* library creates a collective 
> work, but the collection does not include a "copy" of my 
> library.  Thus, I worry that OSL 3.0 Section 1
> (a) doesn't apply to executables which link against my 
> library, post- compilation.  But do tell me if I'm being stupid here.

You're not being stupid. I do not treat computer-style compilation as a
translation for purposes of derivative work analysis. My reading of the
guidelines at the Copyright Office informs me that they treat object code
compiled from source as merely another form of the same work. They allow you
to copyright trade secret software by submitting compiled object code under
a "rule of doubt" which can be resolved, if necessary, by reference to the
source code. They appear to treat it as two forms of the same work, and so
do I.

/Larry

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (www.rosenlaw.com)
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
707-485-1242  *  fax: 707-485-1243
Author of "Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and 
   Intellectual Property Law" (Prentice Hall 2004) 
   [Available also at www.rosenlaw.com/oslbook.htm]
 
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gordon Kindlmann [mailto:gk@bwh.harvard.edu] 
> Sent: Monday, September 12, 2005 5:29 AM
> To: lrosen@rosenlaw.com; license-discuss@opensource.org
> Subject: OSL for libraries (was Re: Submitted for Approval: 
> OSL 3.0 and AFL 3.0)
> 
> hello,
> 
> Again my query specifically relates to applying OSL 3.0 to a 
> library; I do not intend to create a diversion from 
> discussing the general merits of OSL and AFL in more typical 
> circumstances.
> 
> On Sep 11, 2005, at 11:49 PM, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> 
> > OSL 3.0 section 1(a) authorizes the copying of your library into a 
> > collective work without imposing reciprocity obligations on your 
> > licensees for their own independent creations.
> 
> Understood.  The LGPL does this as well, but LGPL Section 6 
> additionally imposes requirements that distributors of an 
> executable linked with the library enable users of the 
> executable to link it with their own modifications of the 
> library.  With dynamic linking, this is no problem; with 
> static linking (which I believe is more common in embedded 
> applications), this is sufficiently annoying that many 
> developers are wary of LGPL Section 6.  LGPL Section 6 also 
> defines attribution requirements.
> 
> I think it is significant to point out that wxWindows 
> (http:// www.opensource.org/licenses/wxwindows.php), FLTK 
> (http://www.fltk.org/ COPYING.php), and FOX 
> (http://www.fox-toolkit.org/license.html) are all widget 
> toolkits, and that the licenses for these all have their own 
> exception notices layered on top of LGPL to, among other 
> things, nix the requirement to enable relinking. A widget 
> toolkit is to me an ideal model for what is an independently 
> distributed software library, so I think its worthwhile to 
> note how those licenses have tweaked the LGPL to fit their needs.
> 
> Along the same lines, I think its informative to consider in 
> more detail how OSL 3.0, as applied to a library, fits into 
> the landscape of these existing library licenses.
> 
> * Is the author of a collective work which includes a copy of 
> my library required to enable users of the collective work to 
> swap out my library and replace it with their own 
> modification of the library?  This is the somewhat onerous 
> burden of LGPL Section 6.
> 
> * Is the author of such a collective work required to notify 
> users that the collection includes a copy of my library, by 
> identifying the name of my library, or by duplicating the 
> copyright notice that accompanies my library?  This is 
> required by LGPL, FLTK, and FOX.
> 
> * If there is such an attribution requirement, how can I waive it?   
> wxWindows does away with any attribution requirements.
> 
> * If the author of the collective work decides that my 
> library needs some modifications prior to its copying into 
> the collective work, must he or she first independently 
> license the modified library under OSL 3.0?  I believe your 
> previous message answers this in the affirmative, so in this 
> respect OSL 3.0 is, as you said, like LGPL, as well as well 
> FLTK and FOX, but unlike wxWindows.
> 
> * If my library in source form is licensed under OSL 3.0, 
> doesn't its compilation (in the computer science sense) into 
> binary object code form create a derived work of my library, 
> since compiling is one kind of "translation"?  If so, linking 
> an executable with my *compiled* library creates a collective 
> work, but the collection does not include a "copy" of my 
> library.  Thus, I worry that OSL 3.0 Section 1
> (a) doesn't apply to executables which link against my 
> library, post- compilation.  But do tell me if I'm being stupid here.
> 
> thanks again,
> Gordon Kindlmann