[cc-licenses] input requested: BY-SA/GPL compatibility - license scope

Andrew Rens andrewrens at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 16:08:58 EST 2015


Hi Arne

Thanks for the clarifications.

Best Regards

Andrew Rens



On 25 February 2015 at 16:00, Arne Babenhauserheide <arne_bab at web.de> wrote:

> Hi Andrew,
>
> Am Dienstag, 24. Februar 2015, 19:14:51 schrieb Andrew Rens:
> > On 24 February 2015 at 14:02, Arne Babenhauserheide <arne_bab at web.de>
> wrote:
> > > Am Montag, 23. Februar 2015, 16:38:04 schrieb Andrew Rens:
> > > > > I think the easiest step would be to explicitly forbid using a CC
> > > > > by-sa file under GPL, if that would require patent rights which the
> > > > > reuser cannot grant. You can only use a CC by-sa work under GPL if
> you
> > > > > are able to comply with the GPL.
> > > >
> > > > But how would this be implemented?
> > >
> > > By just writing it: If you hold a patent which would prevent others
> > > from utilizing their rights under the GPL, you are not allowed to
> > > distribute CC by-sa content under GPL.
> > >
> >
> > The problem is not that the person doing the distributing under the GPL
> > has a patent, the problem is that person who originally licensed a work
> > under CC By SA might theoretically have a patent.
>
> That’s the case for any other GPL compatible license, too. It would
> only be a problem if the one with the patent could do the relicensing.
>
> > Where would you have this writing? Changing CC By SA or the GPL are not
> > under discussion.
>
> I’d guess in the compatible licenses part - as clarification. My
> interpretation of the legal issues is that you don’t even need to
> write anything to make this the rule, as it’s the logical
> interpretation, and it is also what happens if you have licensing
> across patent legislations. (but I am not a lawyer)
>
> > > This is the same when you let a subsidiary create some software in a
> > > jurisdiction which does not have software patents and then restrict
> > > people in a country with software patents from utilizing their rights.
>
> > It is not at all clear why claim it is the same. In one case there is
> > control i.e. a subsidiary in the  other case there is no control, the CC
> By
> > SA licensor does not control the GPL licensor - the CC By SA licensor is
> a
> > stranger to the re-licensing.
>
> The part with the subsidiary is strategic behavior with the intention
> to harm freedom. Without that, it’s even less of a problem.
>
> > > But she would not be allowed at all to distribute the GPL’ed work
> > > (because she would not be allowed to distribute the whole under the
> > > GPL if parts of the other code could be covered by the patent, and
> > > would not be allowed to restrict the CC by-sa to a specific
> > > version).
> >
> > It is not clear what scenario you are envisaging here.  The CC By SA
> > licensor created a work e.g. an image and licensed under CC By SA. Then
> > another person who wants to combined the image into software and licence
> > the whole under the GPL. The CC By SA licensor does not personally want
> to
> > distribute the new work under the GPL.
> > The GPL licensor does want to distribute the new work under the GPL - the
> > question being asked is whether she should be able to do so if - even if
> > she does not know if theoretically there may be a patent held by the CC
> By
> > SA licensor.
>
> That’s again the case for any GPL-compatible license and even when you
> create the work all on your own. We cannot fix the patent system.
>
> Sure, when you take a CC by-sa work you do not get the guarantees
> you’d get with a GPL by the person who put it under CC by-sa in the
> first place. It’s the same when you use works from the public domain.
>
> But the GPL only prohibits you from distributing the work, when you
> hold a patent yourself which you don’t want to allow recipients of the
> work to be able to use.
>
> You are not obliged to check the patents other people might hold, only
> the patents you hold yourself.
>
> So I think the patent-grant won’t be a problem for compatibility.
>
> Best wishes,
> Arne
> --
> singing a part of the history of free software:
>
> - http://infinite-hands.draketo.de
>
>
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