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

Re: New 'Public Domain' Licence

On 6/8/05, Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org> wrote:
> I integrate your MP3 decoding library into my media playing software.  The
> author of the MP3 decoding source code is very clear: you.  I can only reuse
> that library due to the license granted to it.  That license is revoked.  I
> can no longer use the MP3 decoder[1]; if it's affected my work enough that
> I can not excise it from my code (so my work is not a derived work of the
> library), it's up a creek.  This isn't a case of you contributing patches
> to work that I'm the author of; it's you authoring an independent work, and
> my integrating your work into mine--one of the most fundamental parts of
> free software.
> [1] or, for the nitpickers, "can no longer distribute my work which is
> derived from the MP3 decoder".

Presumably you wrote this before reading my subsequent messages.  Your
use of this hypothetical MP3 library through its published interface
does not create a derivative work under copyright law.  But suppose
you have received both license to copy and license to create and
publish derivative works, and then receive the statutory minimum
two-year notice of license termination.  You would be well advised to
find time somewhere in that two-year interval to make changes to that
library sufficient to constitute creation of a derivative work, and
then to freeze its API.

For 17 USC 203 (b)(1) grants you the right to continue distribution of
that derivative work after the termination becomes effective; and a
sane court is likely to hold that localized bug fixes thereafter do
not constitute "preparation ... of other derivative works" in excess
of this privilege.

- Michael

Reply to: