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From: David Abrahams (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-12-16 12:30:02

"Steve M. Robbins" <steven.robbins_at_[hidden]> writes:

> Hi,
> I've a question for the drafters of the Boost Software
> License - Version 1.0 - August 17th, 2003.
> 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?
> 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?

This is the answer from our lawyer, Devin Smith. Sorry it took so

A programmer who -- with the permission of the copyright holder --
creates a derivative work based on another work actually owns the
derivative work. So, since the programmer of the derivative work owns
it, there's no need for the owner of the original work to grant that
programmer a license to distribute the derivative work.

Now, that doesn't mean that the owner of the original work can't put
contractual restrictions on what the programmer of the derivative work
can do with the derivative work. The Boost license, for instance,
requires programmers who develop derivative works to include the Boost
license with non-object code distributions of the derivative work.

Dave Abrahams
Boost Consulting

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