Subject: Re: Exceptions to GPL, anyone have some prototype aggreements?
From: "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 01:05:56 -0700
Sat, 25 May 2002 01:05:56 -0700
on Sat, May 25, 2002, Al Davis (aldavis@ieee.org) wrote:
> I have received several replies, but none address the issue
> 
> > on Fri, May 24, 2002, Al Davis (aldavis@ieee.org) wrote:
> > > I am doing some work that will be developing some software that
> > > is to be released under GPL.  I have it partly developed now, but
> > > the project has been on hold for a while.  Nothing has been
> > > released yet. I have some funders lined up who will fund the
> > > completion of the work in exchange for exceptions to GPL on this
> > > work.  We have a verbal agreement on approximately what is
> > > expected.  I need to formalize it.
> > >
> > > Are there are any prototype aggreements for this that have
> > > already been written, that I could copy?  Does anyone here have
> > > experience on this that you would be willing to share?
> 
> I know about the wide variety of open source licenses and their 
> tradeoffs.  That is not what I am looking for.  

That's not what I wrote.

Again, there are a number of schemes.  OO/SO is one,
BerkeleyDB/Sleepycat another, Aladdin's use of the AFPL/GPL.  Sun,
Apple, IBM, and others have introduced their own variants.

If you own copyright on the work as a whole, you, as copyright holder,
can set terms of distribution.

> I am not looking for a general dual license scheme where someone
> downloading it has a choice of licenses.  The public version will be
> licensed GPL.

Then make it so.

> It is a small project.  I intend to release it as part of a larger 
> project, which is already GPL.  

This may be a deal stopper, unless you own the larger project, or have
otherwise be assigned the right to relicense the code.

What the GPL does is to set  default  conditions to copying,
modification, distribution, etc., of a work.   Other  conditions can
still be arranged, possibly, by dealing directly with the authors and/or
rightsholders.  How complex a task this is depends on the nature of the
work, its copyright assignment, number of authors, and their inclination
to grant what you're asking (and for what price).

> The funding corporation wants to use it in a different way.  As of
> now, they don't plan to release at all, so it seems GPL would suit
> them, but they want the option available in the future.  Simply
> releasing under the Berkeley license would suit their needs, but it
> doesn't suit mine.

If this situation is similar to those I'm somewhat painfully familiar
with, you may have a mismatch between your funding source and licensing
needs.

You can specify terms to your own works, but not terms to those you
don't control through ownership or delegated rights.

You either need to do more homework or specify your needs more
explicitly.  I suspec you're:

  - Making a mountain out of an anthill.
  - Asking the impossible (assignment of rights you don't hold).

I'm not sure which it is.

IANAL, TINLA, YADA.

Peace.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   LNX-BBC:  Bootable GNU/Linux -- Don't leave /home without it.
     http://www.lnx-bbc.org/


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