Subject: Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?
From: Chad Perrin <perrin@apotheon.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 17:14:02 -0600
Wed, 7 Sep 2011 17:14:02 -0600
On Wed, Sep 07, 2011 at 06:15:13PM -0400, Karl Fogel wrote:
> Chad Perrin <perrin@apotheon.com> writes:
> >> That's slightly different.  They require that because whatever original
> >> code remains is still under that original license.  But the presence of
> >> that original header doesn't mean that your new code is automatically
> >> under the same license.  You may choose to "reuse" the header, because
> >> you like that license.  But you might include another copyright notice
> >> that describes the different copyright on your changes.
> >
> >Are you somehow claiming that removing the license from the file is
> >legally kosher, then?  Considering it would directly contradict the text
> >of the license, I find that a bit difficult to believe.  About the only
> >way I can think of to make your scenario work is to distribute your
> >changes as a diff.
> 
> No, not at all.  A file can contain *multiple* copyright notices, each
> applying to different sections.  There's nothing magical about a single
> header at the top of a file.

Example:

    # Open Works License

    This is version 0.8 of the Open Works License.

    ## Terms

    Permission is hereby granted by the copyright holder(s), author(s),
    and contributor(s) of this work, to any person who obtains a copy of
    this work, in any form, to reproduce, modify, distribute, publish,
    sell, use, or otherwise deal in the licensed material without
    restriction, provided the following conditions are met:

    1. Redistributions, modified or unmodified, in whole or in part, must
    retain the above license notice, this list of conditions, and the
    following disclaimer.

    2. Redistributions, modified or unmodified, in whole or in part, must
    retain any applicable notices of attribution and copyright.

    No warranty or guarantee is implied by, or should be inferred from,
    this license or the act of distribution under the terms of this
    license.  This license does not grant permission to use the trade
    names, trademarks, service marks, product names, or other
    identifications used by the licensor except as required for
    reasonable and customary use in reproducing, and describing the
    origin or use of, the work.

    ---

    This text is covered under the terms of the above license.  Right?

    So . . . what happens if you change the beginning of this sentence so
    that instead of "So . . . what" it now says "What"?  Isn't that still
    covered by the Open Works License as indicated, absent some kind of
    absurd gymnastics such as distributing alterations as a patch or
    inserting paragraph breaks in the middle of a sentence?

    Better yet . . . what if someone just makes the change without any
    addition or alteration of license notice?  Wouldn't that mean that,
    when the work is redistributed with those modifications, the same
    license applies to the modifications as to the rest of the work?
    Judging by what you said earlier ("the presence of that original
    header doesn't mean that your new code is automatically under the
    same license"), it seems to me that you're saying the modifications
    are not licensed at all, and are simply little copyright landmines
    embedded within the larger work.

-- 
Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]


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