[OpenAFS] is YFS a "derived work" -- raise funds for legal opinion

Russ Allbery rra@stanford.edu
Tue, 02 Oct 2012 19:15:43 -0700

Troy Benjegerdes <hozer@hozed.org> writes:

> You're right. It is actively dangerous for pretty much any of us on this
> list to start speculating about theoretically possible lawsuits.

> I'd like to put my money where my mouth is and put in $50 to retain the
> FSF council Eben Moglen to answer this question with real legal advice.

> I figure it is not worth his time unless there are at least 2-3 others 
> also willing to make the same contribution.

I don't think this question is particularly interesting or worth spending
money on.  IBM spent plenty of money on lawyers to come up with the IBM
Public License in the first place, which while not one of the most popular
licenses is still a fairly average and normal license.  It's more commonly
known as the Common Public License (which has identical text).  It's
already been analyzed by the FSF.


It's also an OSI-approved license.  It's very closely related to the
Eclipse Public License (unsurprising, given IBM's involvement in both) and
has basically the same requirements except for some changes around
patents.  This is all straightforward stuff.

A plain reading of the license says the same thing that Jeff said here
about its individual applicability to separate modules and its
implications for a project involving mixed code under separate licenses.
This is something that's been discussed numerous times on the mailing list

Certainly, any companies that wanted to do something with OpenAFS should
seek their own legal counsel about the exact ramifications of the license,
but there's nothing here that's particularly interesting or unusual from
an open source license perspective.  It's a fairly mainstream license with
fairly mainstream implications.

Russ Allbery (rra@stanford.edu)             <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>