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Re: Warning to Debian Developers regarding BitKeeper

* Brian May (bam@debian.org) wrote:
> My understanding is that a license is like a contract/agreement between
> two parties. ie. Both parties need to agree to any changes. If you tell
> the other party by agreeing to this license you automatically agree to
> any changes I may feel like making, well... its not really an agreement
> anymore is it? Or rather, you agree to do anything I might say in a
> later license ("you may not use this software or earlier versions,
> without jumping out the window of a ten story building first").

It is, both parties do need to agree.  If the licensor wants to change
it you've got two options: Accept the new one, or quit using the
software (or whatever).  If the licensee wants to change it they need to
get the licensor to agree to it.  That's assuming the licensor has some
clause stating that they can change the license.  Otherwise the licensee
just has to stick with the license they agreed to originally.  Generally
if there isn't a "licensor can change the license" there's a time limit
on the license anyway.  If neither of these exist then the licensee can
use the software as long as they want provided they follow the original
agreement, hence the GPL 'infection': There's no time limit on the GPL
or requirment that a licensee adhere to a new license which is put out
by the licensor or stop using the product.  That's my understanding of 
it anyway.

> If one party can create a new license without the other party agreeing
> before hand, does this work both ways?

No.  The parties are not 'equals' in terms of who controls the licensed

> ie. can I create the Bitkeeper License version 2.0, and paste the
> contents of /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2 into it, and use that as
> the "latest version of the license"?


	Hope that helps,


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