Subject: RE: question about bsd-style license requirements - accidental recipr ocity?
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 13:29:45 -0700

 Mon, 18 Oct 2004 13:29:45 -0700
> True in this case and in many cases, but not in every case.  In
> particular, certain licenses are "sublicensable", which means that
> you can change the license to one of your own choice.
> 
> Of the currently OSI-approved licenses, the following at least are
> sublicenseable: the AFL, the Apache license 2.0 (but not 1.1), the CPL
> and the IBMPL, and the MIT license.  The BSD lacks such a provision.
> Some copyleft licenses are sublicenseable, but only under the
> same license as the original.
> 
> Thanks to Larry Rosen for explaining the concept.

Please let me clarify. Sublicensing doesn't necessarily mean you can change
all the terms of your license or choose any license you want. It doesn't
allow you to distribute someone else's "sublicenseable" original software
under new licenses that *contradict* the terms of the original license. 

The main value of sublicensing is that the sublicensee (an end user,
typically) can rely on the license under which he receives his software and
doesn't need to look for or investigate the original licenses for each
component. Instead, the sublicensor/distributor under the new license has
the duty to undertake the analysis of the original licenses to determine if
his new terms are consistent with the terms of the licenses for the
component parts; only if the licenses are consistent can he sublicense the
components to his own customers under his license. 

Sublicensing places the burden of license compatibility on the sublicensor
(distributor). Sublicensing reduces friction in the licensing process,
eliminating the need for hundreds/thousands/millions of downstream licensees
to seek hundreds of licenses from each contributor in order to obtain a
single program like Linux or Apache Webserver.

/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 
email: lrosen@rosenlaw.com 



> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Cowan [mailto:jcowan@reutershealth.com]
> Sent: Monday, October 18, 2004 12:45 PM
> To: Michael Sparks
> Cc: license-discuss@opensource.org
> Subject: Re: question about bsd-style license requirements - accidental
> recipr ocity?
> 
> Michael Sparks scripsit:
> 
> > In your case you're talking about a proprietary SOURCE release, but even
> > so, similar  principles  can apply. Since you don't own the original
> code,
> > you don't have the right to relicense the code under different
> conditions
> > without the agreement of the license holder.
> 
> True in this case and in many cases, but not in every case.  In
> particular, certain licenses are "sublicensable", which means that
> you can change the license to one of your own choice.
> 
> Of the currently OSI-approved licenses, the following at least are
> sublicenseable: the AFL, the Apache license 2.0 (but not 1.1), the CPL
> and the IBMPL, and the MIT license.  The BSD lacks such a provision.
> Some copyleft licenses are sublicenseable, but only under the
> same license as the original.
> 
> Thanks to Larry Rosen for explaining the concept.
> 
> --
> "You're a brave man! Go and break through the           John Cowan
> lines, and remember while you're out there
> jcowan@reutershealth.com
> risking life and limb through shot and shell,
> www.ccil.org/~cowan
> we'll be in here thinking what a sucker you are!"
> www.reutershealth.com
>         --Rufus T. Firefly