[Mono-list] problems with relicensing

Bob Smith bob@thestuff.net
Tue, 8 Jan 2002 16:06:55 -0500 (EST)

If they relicense it, it only effects what they release. Older versions
are still GPL, and you can continue to use/work on the gpled version as
long as you'd like.

On Tue, 8 Jan 2002, Josh Emmons wrote:

> I think the problem (or one of the problems) is /who/ has the ability to
> relicense the code.  In this case Ximian can relicense it as it chooses
> (it holds the copyrights), but contributors cannot (they have assigned
> the copyrights to Ximian).
> As you (miguel) point out, this is not new.  This is done by AOL/TW, et
> al. and if I had the choice of putting my rights in the hands of AOL or
> Ximian, well, you all would win every time.
> But consider the following scenario:  I write a lexical parser (let's
> say) that I contribute to Mono.  I assign the copyright to Ximian.  Mono
> is Open Source or Free or whatever, so the only freedom I loose by doing
> so is the freedom to relicense my lexer.  I, or anybody else, can still
> modify it and use it in as many different projects as needed.
> But what if now Ximian changes the license to "you can only use this
> code if you pay Miguel de Icaza two-hundred gorgan-zillian dollars",
> which would be in Ximian's rights to do.  Could Ximian make this license
> change retroactive?  Let me be more specific: if Ximian has owned the
> copyright to my lexer since version 1.2, can they say that all software
> that uses a version of my lexer later than 1.2 (which may be /years/ old
> at this point) has to fork over money to Miguel or be sued?
> I think that they can (though not that they would).
> So then my problem becomes, do I donate my lexer to Ximian, knowing that
>   /any other/ project I use it in may be put in jeopardy if Ximian
> changes the lexer's license, as they have the right to do?
> If I didn't have some sort of legal guarantee that Ximian would not make
> retroactive changes to my code's license, the only code I would donate
> to Ximian would be code that I was sure I was never going to use
> anywhere else.  That doesn't sound like quality code to me.
> -joshua
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