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Re: OpenCascade license opinion

On Thu, 20 Dec 2007 17:45:28 +0000 John Halton wrote:

> On 20/12/2007, Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it> wrote:
> > This clause attempts to make the license legally binding even to
> > people who merely use or download the software (sections 2, 3, and
> > 13 restate the same concept).
> > This goes beyond what copyright laws (at least in some
> > jurisdictions) allow copyright holders to do, if I understand
> > correctly.
> I don't think there's a problem with making the licence binding on
> users or downloaders. Quite the contrary: someone who uses or
> downloads the software is performing an "act restricted by the
> copyright" for which a licence is required.

That's why I asked for comments from real lawyers: I thought that, at
least in some jurisdictions, using or (legally) receiving a work was not
an exclusive right of the copyright holder.
Maybe I'm wrong, so please help me understand.

U.S. copyright law[1] lists the following exclusive rights, if I
understand correctly: copying/reproducing, modifying/creating-derivates,
distributing, publicly performing/displaying, broadcasting.

Italian authors' right law (legge sul diritto d'autore)[2] lists
similar exclusive rights, if I understand correctly (anyone who can read
italian legalese, see articles 12 through 19), and adds renting and

I couldn't find any "exclusive right to use" from a quick glance at the
Berne convention[3], but maybe I'm just tired and sleepy now...

[1] http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#106
[2] http://www.interlex.it/testi/l41_633.htm#12
[3] http://wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/trtdocs_wo001.html

> > | The Initial Developer may publish new versions of this License
> > | from time to time. Once Original Code has been published under a
> > | particular version of this License, You may choose to continue to
> > | use it under the terms and conditions of that version or use the
> > | Original Code under the terms of any subsequent version of this
> > | License published by the Initial Developer.
> >
> > This is a mandatory license upgrade mechanism.  Here "mandatory"
> > means that, when I release a contribution under the terms of this
> > license, I cannot choose version 6.2 only: I am forced to also grant
> > permissions under any subsequent version of the license published by
> > Open CASCADE S.A.S, even though *I am not yet able to see which
> > terms those subsequent versions will possibly include*.
> I don't think that is what the licence says. It may possibly be what
> Open CASCADE intend (given their track-record on the preamble). ;-)

Heh!  :)

> If you make modifications, those are licensed "under the terms and
> conditions of ***this License***" (i.e. the same licence that you are
> relying on for your own use of the software). There is nothing in
> clause 14 that allows your licensees to change the terms on which your
> changes are licensed to them - clause 14 just says that if Open
> CASCADE change the licence for their own code, then you have a choice
> as to which licence you rely on as regards that code. You do not have
> that choice as regards code written by others - you have to continue
> to rely on the licence under which they released that code.

Maybe I overlooked the definition of "Original Code", which means:

| (a) the source code of the software Open CASCADE Technology originally
| made available by the Initial Developer under this License, including
| the source code of any updates or upgrades of the Original Code and
| (b) the object code compiled from such source code and originally made
| available by Initial Developer under this License.

If I understand what you said, this is the key definition guaranteeing
that section 14 only covers code licensed by Open CASCADE S.A.S and not
contributions written by other people...
If this is the case, then I apologize for raising a non-existent issue.


 Need to read a Debian testing installation walk-through?
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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