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sunset clauses

On Wed, 15 May 2002, Branden Robinson wrote:

> I reassert: a sunset clause is DFSG free if the software is still DFSG
> free before and after the date on the clause.


However, the derivative work of X software linked to Y software may not be
free even if X and Y are both free.  This is true regardless of the sunset
clause, and is the entire GPL/OpenSSL problem.  It still exists unless the
exemption is perpetual.

Imagine software that is GPL, and has a time-limited additional right 
to distribute when linked with OpenSSL.

The software itself is free.  No question.  It would be free under pure 
GPL, so it's free both before and after the sunset.

The derivative work that is the software linked with OpenSSL is not free 
IMO.  It has a license that expires.  It's free before sunset, unlawful to 
distrubute after the exception expires.

This makes sunset clauses where the post-expiry license is not a pure 
superset of the pre-expiry license quite problematic.  It's certainly 
free, but only as long as the conditions of both licenses are followed.

Unless I misunderstand how the sunset clause is expected to work, I don't 
see how it benefits anyone.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>  

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