[Sugar-devel] licensing question

Dave Crossland dave at lab6.com
Wed May 23 23:23:24 EDT 2018

On Wed, May 23, 2018, 8:54 PM James Cameron <quozl at laptop.org> wrote:

> If the source license is GPLv3+, then anyone can relicense as Apache
> 2.0.


This is ABSOLUTELY false.

If the source license is GPLv3+, then anyone can add new code that combines
with the GPLv3(+) code under Apache 2.0, because the GPLv3 is _compatible_
with Apache 2.0.

No one can relicense code other than the copyright holder(s).

What happens the "other way" when permissively licensed (Apache, MIT, BSD,
etc) code is combined with GPL code is the same: The original code remains
under it's original license, but with the additional of the new GPL code,
the whole & combined code becomes available under terms _compatible_ with
the GPL.

Affero is the same; if AGPL code becomes integrated into Sugarizer then the
whole thing must be distributed under terms compatible with the AGPL; the
majority of the work under Apache is still conveyed under Apache, but the
whole thing is also required to make source code available to every visitor.

This hinges on the definition of a derivative or combined work under
copyright, which is broad.

Similarly, while copyright doesn't cover ideas, and is limited to cover
expressions, it does cover expressions derived from earlier expressions.
Thusbit covers translation of code from one language to another.

(I found it helpful to think of it this way: it's the difference between
restrictions and requirements; restrictions are about what you can NOT do,
and requirements are about what you MUST do.

The A/GPL have additional requirements beyond those of permissive licenses,
but no additional restrictions; and the other way, the permissive licenses
have no additional restrictions beyond those in the A/GPL, which is why
they are compatible.)


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