Subject: Re: For Approval: mindmason license (MML)
From: John Cowan <>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 20:02:41 -0400

Forrest J. Cavalier III scripsit:

> I see your 2 III as being in conflict with the OSD on its face.
>   "Licensee is not entitled to grant rights pertaining to the Program to 
>   third persons. "

Well, not on its face: the OSD does not guarantee the right to sublicense.
It's true that all contract-based open-source licenses provide this
right (permission-based licenses don't have to), but it's not actually
a requirement.

What clause of the OSD do you think is violated here?

Stephan Meyer scripsit:

> >Contracts formed on "use" of the software are dubious.  U.S. copyright
> >law expressly permits using a legally obtained copy of computer program
> >(and even certain modifications to it) without a license.
> Please elaborate on how one can "legally obtain" a copy of a computer
> program while rejecting the license terms that come with it.

For example, even if the license forbids copying and modifying (as
is typical for proprietary licenses), U.S. law allows one to copy the
program for the purpose of making backups; in addition, the program
may be copied for the purpose of using it, as from the CD-ROM to a
hard disk and from the hard disk to memory.  Furthermore, a computer
repairer may do these things even with software licensed to someone
else, the owner of the computer being repaired.

Furthermore (though this right is difficult to exercise in practice),
if the software does not run on your computer, you may modify it
as needed so that it does.

So in these respects the license is accepted, but certain terms of
it are overridden by law in these specific factual situations.

John Cowan
All "isms" should be "wasms".   --Abbie