Subject: Re: Licensing question
From: David Ryan <david@livemedia.com.au>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 15:46:22 +1100

jack fredricks wrote:

>On 11/10/05, David Ryan <david@livemedia.com.au> wrote:
>
>thanks for comfirming that for me, however..as always, there's one
>more question..
>
>:)
>
>at the end you said;
>
>  
>
>>Many projects will request that copyright for "Code C" be
>>assigned back to the initial developer so they have more freedom to
>>relicense as needed.
>>    
>>
>
>How does that work? Surely that defeats the purpose of L/GPL?
>  
>
In a way it does.  However, this is how many companies are creating open 
source business models.  Look at MySQL and SleepyCat Berkeley DB as 
examples.  They provide both open source license and commercial 
licenses.  They can only do this because they will only accept 
modifications from people who assign copyright to them.

>Actually.. I think I just worked it out..
>
>If I "let" someone contribute to my "Code A", I can request (in truth
>*demand*) that the copyright remains mine, and later on re-release it
>with a different licence.
>  
>
If you wish to keep the copyright you will need to get the contributors 
to sign a copyright assignment.
If a contributor has made modifications and released them as LGPL they 
can decide that they do not wish to assign copyright to you.  If you 
wish to keep your code base copyright clean then you need to accept that 
your code base has been forked.  In this way the original aims of the 
LGPL have not been defeated.

>However..
>
>if i take "Code B" (which is LGPL'd) and merge it with "Code A"...
>THEN i can't change the licence?
>  
>
Correct.

>
>
>actually..im still a bit confused...because...
>
>at any time before changing my licence on Code A from LGPL to Evil
>Licence 2006, anyone can take my (or should I say our) LGPL code and
>"keep" it, edit it, and re-release it (as LGPL code)...which means...
>  
>
Correct.

>*IF* I wanted to change my licence, there would realistically have to
>be a large difference in code between changing from LGPL to whatever.
>  
>
No.  You can release your "Code A" with as many licenses as you choose.  
You own the copyright.
As you said, you can't revoke a LGPL distribution.  Once you've released 
it in the wild it caries on with that license.  The only thing you can 
do is choose not to continue to distribute under that license or improve 
that version.

>I hope it doesnt seem like I'm talking to myself!
>
>
>I'm still happy with all of that, just trying to clarify it.
>
>Lawyers? Who needs em? ;)
>
>  
>
I should say.. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, etc.

Regards,
David.

--
David Ryan. aka Oobles.
http://www.livemedia.com.au/Blog