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    SubjectRe: Wasting our Freedom

    On Sun, Sep 16, 2007 at 05:12:08PM -0400, Theodore Tso wrote:

    >What is going on whenever someone changes a code is that they make a
    >"derivative work".

    Only if the additions/changes are significant enough to be copyrightable
    on their own.

    >Whether or not you can even make a derivative
    >work, and under what terms the derivitive work can be licensed, is
    >strictly up to the license of the original. For example, the BSD
    >license says:

    > Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
    > modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
    > are met....

    >Note the "with or without modification". This is what allows people
    >to change BSD licensed code and redistribute said changes. The
    >conditions specified by the BSD license do not mention anything about
    >licening terms --- just that if you meet these three conditions, you
    >are allowed to redistribute them. So for example, this is what allows
    >Network Appliances to take BSD code, change it, and add a restrictive,
    >proprietary copyright.

    Right. You may add nearly any copyright *on your own significant
    additions/changes*. However, BSD/ISC explicitly requires to retain the
    BSD/ISC terms, too (applicable to the original part of the combined

    >So for code which is single-licensed under a BSD license, someone can
    >create a new derived work, and redistribute it under a more
    >restrictive license --- either one as restrictive as NetApp's (where
    >no one is allowed to get binary unless they are a NetApp customer, or
    >source only after signing an NDA), or a GPL license. It is not a
    >relicencing, per se, since the original version of the file is still
    >available under the original copyright; it is only the derived work
    >which is under the more restrictive copyright.

    No. The derivative work altogether has a *mixed* license. BSD/ISC for
    the parts that are original, the other (restrictive, GPL, whatever)
    license for the modifications/additions.

    *If* you choose to distribute source along with the binaries, the part
    of the source that's original is BSD/ISC licensed even in the derivative
    work (though one may put *the additions/modifications* under restrictive
    conditions, e.g. of commercial non-disclosure type source licensing).

    >[... dual-licensing issues etc. already handled in other mails ...]

    Kind regards,

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