Subject: RE: BSD-like licenses and the OSI approval process
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 13:38:46 -0700

John Cowan wrote:
> The last is the essential question we've been dealing with here: can you
> take a work under a permissive license and issue a copy of it under some
> other license?  Not a derivative, not a collection, but a plain copy.
> I think not.

That sort of a silly abstract question. For one thing, I could trivially
avoid the whole issue in the world of permissive software licenses by making
a non-trivial expressive change (such as affixing my beautiful logo to your
BSD-licensed work) to create a derivative work. Furthermore, the fact that I
enable someone to drill down to and copy a specific page in my collective
work doesn't make the collection itself any the less a copyrightable
collective work. That person's copy of the individual page was copied from
my work that he received under the terms of my collective work license, AFL
3.0 (to which he assented!). Finally, in my case I'm not intending to assert
any copyright interest specifically in the page he copied by drilling down,
because it remains under the BSD license--as well as, under the authority of
the BSD license--under AFL 3.0.

My copyright interest, as you suggest, does not extend to your BSD-licensed
work. But I read your BSD license as giving me permission to distribute your
work under any license I choose, including AFL 3.0, as long as I copy the
text of your BSD license in the source code. 

Where's the beef in your entirely hypothetical question? Legal questions, no
matter how "essential" to ponder, don't exist in a vacuum. Would you take
such a question to court? What's the legal dispute? Have I done something to
your BSD-licensed work, or claimed any rights to it that I don't deserve,
that would justify your complaining to a copyright court about my AFL 3.0
collective work and my OSL 3.0 website?

/Larry


> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan@ccil.org]
> Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 1:09 PM
> To: Lawrence Rosen
> Cc: 'License Discuss'
> Subject: Re: BSD-like licenses and the OSI approval process
> 
> Lawrence Rosen scripsit:
> 
> > What is there about the collection that I would need to assert? I'm
> using
> > AFL 3.0 because I intend to give my collection away to the public, while
> > only protecting myself from fools and villains who want to sue me for
> doing
> > good deeds.
> 
> I'm not sure what's going on here.  Are you going to place the collection
> under
> the AFL3?  If so, is there really anything copyrightable about the
> collection?
> Or are you going to place the individual items in the collection under the
> AFL3?
> If so, how do you do that without first making derivative works of them?
> 
> The last is the essential question we've been dealing with here: can you
> take a work under a permissive license and issue a copy of it under some
> other license?  Not a derivative, not a collection, but a plain copy.
> I think not.
> 
> --
> John Cowan        http://www.ccil.org/~cowan          cowan@ccil.org
> Please leave your values                Check your assumptions.  In fact,
>    at the front desk.                      check your assumptions at the
> door.
>      --sign in Paris hotel                   --Cordelia Vorkosigan