Subject: RE: For Approval: BSD License, PostgreSQL Variant
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 21:13:48 -0700

John, you and I agree on the fundamental rule that licenses can't be changed
without the unanimous consent of the authors or copyright owners. I wasn't
suggesting that rule be revoked.

BSD-licensed software can, however, be combined into new works and those new
works distributed under either proprietary or FOSS licenses. It is done
every day! The BSD license isn't changed; it still applies to the original
work. But the new work (or new version of the old work) isn't constrained to
be licensed under the BSD license.

So that's what I'm suggesting: Take those old PostgreSQL-licensed
(BSD-licensed, almost) programs and combine them into a new distribution
under a new license. That could be the GPL license. That could be the Apache
license. That could be the AFL 3.0 license. That could be the OSI-approved
version of the BSD license. That could be a proprietary license. 

It is not a breach of the BSD license to do that. It is certainly not a
breach of faith with the original contributors, who authorized this
initially when they used the BSD-like license in the first place.

/Larry

 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan@ccil.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 8:46 PM
> To: Lawrence Rosen
> Cc: 'License Discuss'
> Subject: Re: For Approval: BSD License, PostgreSQL Variant
> 
> Lawrence Rosen scripsit:
> 
> > That's a better way to avoid license proliferation, and it encourages
> > PostgreSQL to reconsider their alternatives in light of the latest
> licensing
> > technology available to replace their variant of the BSD license.
> 
> Unfortunately, that bumps up against the supposed legal rule that no
> license can't be changed without the unanimous consent of the authors.
> You and I know better, as do at least some members of this list,
> but there are many people who are deeply invested in the truth
> of this absurdity.
> 
> --
> If you understand,                      John Cowan
>    things are just as they are;         http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
> if you do not understand,               cowan@ccil.org
>    things are just as they are.