Subject: Re: Scope of copyright on derivative works
From: Chuck Swiger <>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 15:33:54 -0700

On Sep 28, 2007, at 2:47 PM, Wilson, Andrew wrote:
>> What I'm not convinced about is this conclusion:
>>> ...and thus seems to pose no differences in GPL3 compatibility
>>> issues when compared to the MS-PL.
>> ...because the GPL forbids redistribution of GPL'ed code under any
>> other terms, whereas the BSDL does not have such a restriction.
> Correct, BSDL does not.  But MS-PL (now MS-OL?) has a GPL-like
> restriction, which is its fundamental novelty wrt BSDL or MIT.

Agreed-- section 3D states: "(D) If you distribute any portion of the  
software in source code form, you may do so only under this license  
by including a complete copy of this license with your distribution.   
If you distribute any portion of the software in compiled or object  
code form, you may only do so under a license that complies with this  

...which is similar to GPLv4 clauses 4 and 7, but has the virtue of  
being much shorter.

> The flaw in Chris's reasoning is that anything which is not
> forbidden under BSDL (removing the original copyright notice, using  
> the
> author's name without permission, suing the author) is allowed.

I don't agree with either this position as stated, or even that this  
is a fair representation of Chris' position.  As he just noted:

">> All rights reserved.

Ok.  So whatever is not permitted here is restricted."

> Adding additional Ts and Cs to the core BSD set is allowed when  
> creating a
> derivative of BSDL code, be they GPL terms or (to pick another  
> prominent usage of
> BSDL licensed code) those of an Apple proprietary end user license.

You refer to the OSI-approved ASPL (found here: http://

Sure-- but these additional Ts and Cs apply only to such  
modifications, and possibly to the resulting dual-licensed derivative  
work considered as a whole, assuming the modifications are  
significant enough to merit copyright protection according to 17 USC  
103 or equivalent, as Larry Rosen just pointed out.  The original  
unmodified BSD licensed code remains under the BSDL alone, and the  
BSD license does not grant anyone the right to modify the terms of  
the BSD license.