Subject: Re: the provide, license verbs
From: Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 11:08:19 -0700

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

> I know all this. But can you give an open source software without a
> license?

Think of it this way:  There's a default licence (absent an explicit
licence statement) that is implicit in copyright law.  Copyright law
grants to lawful recipients the right to compile and the right to use --
but not the right to create derivative works or redistribute.[1]

Because the rights to create derivative works and redistribute are an
important core concept of what we mean by "open source", works under
such terms are classified as proprietary.  For example, most software
produced by Daniel J. Bernstein was released in that state -- as a
deliberate choice, since Bernstein happens to like the resulting rights
grant.


In the mailing list thread, the querent asked how it was possible to
give someone a software codebase under "no licence".  That was the
question I asked.  The querent didn't ask if the resulting software
would be proprietary.  Had he asked that question, my answer would have
been "yes".

[1] I'm speaking of copyright statutes in countries that are signatory
to the Berne Convention on Copyrights.  This covers almost all
countries; it's possible that some of the exceptions have significantly
different copyright regimes, though I doubt it.

-- 
Cheers,                    I've been suffering death by PowerPoint, recently.
Rick Moen                                                     -- Huw Davies
rick@linuxmafia.com  
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