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Thu, 27 Jun 2002 10:19:26 -0400 (EDT)
Thank you very much for the thorough response. I am a lot more clear on
On Wed, 26 Jun 2002, David Sugar wrote:
> On Thu, 20 Jun 2002, Daniel Carrera wrote:
> > Hello,
> > I have a question about law. I need some help understanding licenses.
> > Understanding this will help me know when licenses are being broken.
> > I have two questions:
> > 1) How can I project change license after its started?
> > A project might start using the X11 license and then switch to the LGPL.
> > How can that be?
> > How can you add or take aways restrictions afterwards?
> The copyright owner(s) can choose to release software under any terms they
> wish, and change those terms later. This simply means that a license
> "fork" has occured, where older releases are under the original license,
> and newer releases are under the new one.
> Some software is distributed with so called EULA's rather than thru
> application of copyright law. EULA's attempt to create licensing thru
> basic contract law, and some claim that new terms can be retroactivily
> applied or that they can trump your rights to second sale. I suppose one
> can make and sign a contract that agrees to any terms in theory, but the
> courts generally will not uphold clearly unreasonable terms. For example,
> a contract signing yourself into slavery would not be upheld, regardless
> of if legally "signed" by two "consenting" parties. In fact, retroactive
> EULA's are, I think, an instrument of fraud, and I wish they were
> prosecuted in that manner.
> > 2) If I hold the copyright to a pice of software. Say it's GPL.
> > Do I have the right to give that software to someone under a different
> > license?
> > If so, that is a potential hamper on freedom.
> As the copyright owner, you can choose to do as you wish in this regard
> under existing law. Yes, you could potentially give the software to one
> person under the GPL and to another under different terms. Sometimes this
> is done openly, such as thru a disjunctive license, but it need not be.
> It would seem less a hamper on freedom than a futile exercise, however,
> since the person can simply receive the same code from someone else who
> can distribute it under the GPL.
> There may be other reasons why some may choose to make software available
> under the GPL to some people and not directly so to others. The GPL for
> example disclaims warrenty. Perhaps, as a vendor, one might choose to
> supply warrenties or other support, and do so to a set of customers that
> do not receive the code you are supporting under the GPL, where at the
> same time also making it available as free software. I am not going to
> comment on the full ethical considerations involved, but I think there are
> some examples of this being done...
> I recall your original question was indirectly related to Lindows. I will
> answer your question here in this context. Lindows obviously does not
> hold copyright on most of the code they would choose to redistribute in
> their release, and only has legal permission to redistribute much of that
> code in any form due soley to a single legal instrument, the GPL.
> Assuming they do distribute a release, they must do so under the terms
> outlined by the GPL at least for those parts of their distribution so
> > Daniel.
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