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From: Ben Hutchings (ben.hutchings_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-10-27 05:35:53

Steve M. Robbins <steven.robbins_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> I've a question for the drafters of the Boost Software
> License - Version 1.0 - August 17th, 2003.

I am not one of them, but I can give you some answers anyway.

> Put yourself in the position of someone who wants to redistribute
> a modified version of Boost. For example, the linux distributors
> like Debian.
> The license begins with the permission grant:
> Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person or
> organization obtaining a copy of the software and accompanying
> documentation covered by this license (the "Software") to use,
> reproduce, display, distribute, execute, and transmit the
> Software, and to prepare derivative works of the Software, and to
> permit third-parties to whom the Software is furnished to do so,
> all subject to the following:
> [... a restriction and a disclaimer paragraph ...]
> As I read this, "the Software" means "the unmodified tar or zip
> file obtained from". Is that correct?

No, it means whatever software says the licence applies to it. This
licence does not (yet) apply to all of Boost. All parts of it are
supposed to come with a licence that meets certain requirements,
listed at <>. The
licence you are reading is supposed to be a standard licence that
meets these requirements. There is a fuller explanation at

> I'm permitted to "prepare derivative works of the Software", but the
> license doesn't specify what I may do with my derivative works.
> Clearly, I may distribute "the Software", but may I distribute
> the derivative work?

I think that may be legally implicit, but I am not a lawyer.

> Some licenses (e.g. the BSD and the GPL) make it clear that the terms
> apply to both the software and to derivative works. Shouldn't the
> boost license do likewise?

Even if it is legally implicit, I can see that it would be a good
idea to clarify it. Since it doesn't specify have a choice-of-law
clause it could be interpreted according to any country's contract
law and things that are implicit according to US law might not be
so elsewhere.


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