[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Licence of SteelBlue

On Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 08:52:28PM +0200, Henning Makholm wrote:
> Scripsit Tomasz Wegrzanowski <maniek@beer.com>
> > QUOTE :
> >   b.  All distributed modifications to the Program shall immediately
> >       become subject to a permanent non-exclusive royalty-free right
> >       hereby granted to TCG to include such modifications in the
> >       Program as it may determine from time to time, and the
> >       unrestricted right to distribute such modification in all future
> >       versions of the Program, without obligation to User of any kind.
> > They seem to claim that every *.diff to program is automagically
> > licensed to them, what is false. ILLEGAL.
> No, they *require* that the licensee licence his modification to
> them, which is legal enough. In a sense, the GPL also says something
> similar: roughly, "if you distribute modifications, you must give us
> (and everyone else, by the way) the same rights to your modifications
> as we give you to the original".

( What you said might be intension of this point. )
But with GPL or not, you are still allowed to distribute proprietary .diffs.
You only can't distribute them together in a way that they would create
"derived work", like distribete them patched together.

"derived work" is something that is covered by copyright law, not
everything that you can merge with yours to create "derived work".

> > QUOTE :
> > 5.  TERMINATION.  In the event of any default or failure of User to
> >     abide by the terms hereof, this license may be revoked by TCG
> >     without prior notice and all rights granted hereunder rescinded.
> ...
> > Everyone can see what's wrong here, don't you ?
> No. It's very common in licenses, free ones too, to say that the
> license terminates if licensee does not meet his obligations (which
> typically include not attacking the freedom of the program). Saying
> so is strictly redundant, since that is the way contracts normally
> work, but it does not harm if some paranoid lawyer wants to state
> the obvious explicitly.
> > They not only want to have you patches for free, they also want you to
> > give your copyrights to them. ILLEGAL.
> Not nice, but in which jurisdictions do you think it is actually illegal?

According to civil law, if something in license/contract/etc. is illegal,
this particular point is void, and others apply (unless the rest makes no sense
without this point, or changes license/contract/etc. too much).

Illegal means only that nothing gave them right to make such a cleaim,
and that this claim is void as not legally-enforcible.

Look at these :

     The term "Program" shall include all
     portions thereof, all [...] modifications [...] as
     determined by TCG to be part of the Program.


     All right, [...] to the Program, including but not limited
     to the copyright [...] remain exclusively with TCG.

They claim that they have been magically given "intelectual ownership" of
your patches from you, if they only include them in their distribution.
This is NOT ONLY unlimited right to distribute it.
As no two people can't hold the same copyright, they claim to take it from you.

Nothing in copyright law allow you to make such claims in a license.
License is about terms of distribution (or lenting in many countries),
not about takeovers of you code.

This might not be their intension, but license is vaguely written and
this is one of possible interpretations.
I would strongly encourage them to rewrite this license to clean up it,
even if it will still be non-free.

Reply to: