Subject: Re: Dual licensing
From: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 11:23:24 -0700

Quoting Marius Amado Alves (amado.alves@netcabo.pt):

> Red Hat sells a *closed* configuration. And mainly support (Red Hat 
> Enterprise etc.) Not the open software (Fedora).

There is, as far as I can tell, nothing the least bit proprietary in the
software contents of any of the RHEL 3.0 variants, or the RHAS 2.1
variants before it.  (I have not been able to licence-audit all of the
packages, but to a first approximation everything in the distribution
appears to be under licences permitting public redistribution.)

As far as I (a non-lawyer, and thus not offering professional legal
advice) can tell, a lawful possessor of RHEL 3.0 may (per USA law and
probably others) lawfully duplicate and give away duplicates of his CDs.
If, in addition to that, he takes sufficient steps to also avoid
infringing Red Hat's trademark rights, he may alternatively sell the
software in question.

By using trademark rights and a bundled service agreement to offer a
branded, supported offering to business only for an annual fee, yet also
respecting fully the rights of forking and redistribution in all of the
software's licences, Red Hat, Inc. strikes me as having accomplished
something remarkable and (in my view) commendable.  You seem to have
misunderstood its provisions -- but then, many people seem to have done
so.

> I merely try to discuss these issues here in as much as they relate to 
> license terms. For example: dual-licensing requires a 'viral' license; 

I see no reason why a reciprocal licence necessarily _must_ be a
component of dual-licensing; rather, the pragmatic licence-compatbility
problems requiring dual-licensing just don't seem to arise with
combinations solely of non-copylefted codebases.  

The primary non-copyleft open-source licenses, to the best of my
recollection, are as follows:

o  Old BSD licence (advertising clause)
o  Apache licence (newer versions of which have patent-termination clauses)
o  MIT X11 licence, or equivalently
o  New BSD licence.

Those mix well not so much because of the lack of a reciprocal/copyleft 
provision per se, but more exactly because they lack provisions that
limit licence combination.

It would be perverse to create a non-reciprocal licence that clashes
with the above licences, but could certainly be done easily.  Here's an
example:

   Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
   modification, are permitted provided that this software not be used
   to create derivative works with codebases under the BSD, Apache, or 
   MIT X11 licences.

-- 
Cheers,        "Linux means never having to delete your love mail."
Rick Moen                                              -- Don Marti
rick@linuxmafia.com
--
license-discuss archive is at http://crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?3