Subject: Re: Free documentation licenses
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 14:59:54 -0800

begin John Cowan quotation:

> The term "relicense" should be avoided, as it leads to wifty thinking.
> No one but the copyright holder can "relicense" anything, in the
> sense of changing the license.
> You can create a *derivative* work containing BSD parts and GPL parts,
> and license the whole work under the GPL.  You cannot license the
> whole work under the BSD license.  You also cannot change the licenses
> of the parts.  In particular, I can extract a BSD-licensed component
> from a GPL-licensed work and use it in derivative works under the
> BSD license.

This is an excellent (and key) point.

At work, I've tried to explain the matter by saying it's best to think
of a composite work as not _having_ a licence, per se:  The individual
modules bear licences.  The resulting composite, then, either is or is not 
legally distributable, depending on how those licence terms interact.

Cheers,                                      "Reality is not optional."
Rick Moen                                             -- Thomas Sowell