Re: freedomization task list [was: Re: Dangerous precedent being
Henning Makholm wrote:
> tb@MIT.EDU (Thomas Bushnell, BSG) writes:
> > All the owner can take back is the promise as it applies to new
> > copies.
> That is bad enough as it is. It means that once the owner changes his
> mind, we lose the right to make and distribute new modifications:
> I might still have the right to make one modified copy of the work,
> but I don't have any right to copy that one copy further.
Unless I miss my mark, it means that the assumptions we've made on the
legality of free software are correct. The author cannot change the
license on code you already have; if he does change the license on new
versions, you still have a free version and can fork a new project out of
it. And yes, that means you still have the ability to make copies of that
source, because the license you received the code under allowed you to
copy and modify it as many times as you want.
In this case, "new copies" means new versions...so an author can close
the source for future versions, but cannot make it retroactive -- it's
already been released.
This is why the PINE situation is/was of dubious legality. UW granted
specific rights, then revoked them for future versions. All of these
things are legal. But threatening legal action to keep people from
exercising the rights they already had under the older license? That
sounds awfully fishy, but you obviously can't force them to give you the
old source back if it's been lost.
| Jeff Teunissen -=- Pres., Dusk To Dawn Computing -- d2deek at pmail.net
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