Licensing stuff (Was: Sun3)

David Waite mass at
Wed Apr 1 19:57:21 PST 1998

>The thing you're missing is that the creator of the work can change
>the license at his or her whim.  It is just other people that can't
>change it.
>Matt Kimball
>mkimball at

Right, it is considered 'exporting' code when you release it. You still have
all rights on your code, but the code released is now Open Software. You can
still license the code out for people to include in commercial, 'closed'
software, but they can't do that for the Open Code release.

Netscape is doing this with the NPL. They still are under contractual
agreement with a lot of parties who bought the source, and also want to keep
giving them an advantage to paying them. So the source has two doors out
into the world- one door being to the Free, Open software world, and the
other being to the closed, commercial world who are willing to pay. The code
is the same, but as far as licensing is concerned they are two different

Of course, I am not a lawyer... its just nice to know things like this. For
instance, if you are making a closed program, you can include GPL'd code if
you can get the permission of the person who holds the code. It is very cool
that you can make a program and give it out for free, but then you still
hold rights on it and can make money like this. The only thing I'm not clear
on is patches- if someone sends you a patch that is small, it is not a
larger derived work, but if it changes the code to be 'value added' I don't
know if they then get rights on the changed code, leaving you with the
rights on the original code.

-David Waite

More information about the kaffe mailing list