[linux-elitists] The breadth of SCO's claims

Aaron Sherman ajs@ajs.com
Fri Jun 27 06:34:58 PDT 2003

On Thu, 2003-06-26 at 12:58, Karsten M. Self wrote:

> Your copyright license interest in the combined work, under the BSD
> license, is 'A', because your terms of licensing state that you have no
> further interest in a combined work.

I agreed with you up to here. The license specifically states
restrictions that must be placed on derived works ("...as long as you
retain..."). Since waiving a right (or rights in this case) cannot be
done implicitly, you would have to say, "other than these restrictions,
the copyright holder of this work disclaims all other rights to derived
works". At least that's my understanding of the law, but I'm not trained
in such things.

Think of it this way: If another BSD-licensed project absorbed your
code, and then a proprietary software company were to absorb THAT code
and distribute it wihtout retaining your copyright notice, you would
have the right to sue that third party without having to go through the
second party. Why? Because they have violated the terms of the license
on a jointly copyrighted work to which you were a party. *Your* license
no logner applies, that was a license between you and the second party.
The *new* license is crafted by the second party, but because of the
terms of your original license, you must be a party to this new license
("source or binary form, as long as..."). This new license may have
simple BSD terms, in which case your situation has not changed much.

However, if the new license has more restrictive terms, you are now a
party to those more restrictive terms, and you certainly have the right
to enforce them, no?

As far as I know, you cannot distribute a work under two licenses at the
same time without (as Perl does) allowing the recipient to choose
between them (either circumstantially or by preference). Thus, you must
view the BSD and Windows licenses as a collective license over the
Windows code, no?

Aaron Sherman <ajs@ajs.com>
Senior Systems Engineer and Toolsmith
"It's the sound of a satellite saying, 'get me down!'" -Shriekback

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