[ardour-dev] How Dual Licensing works

Jay R. Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Wed Feb 8 14:29:04 PST 2006

On Wed, Feb 08, 2006 at 08:59:36PM +0000, Rick wrote:
> Does this mean that Ardour code as GPL would more-or-less "freeze" at
> some point, and that the code as written would move over into
> commercial hands AND continue to be usable in the open source
> environment? Then the ¢ompany develops it its own way with all the
> copyrights that commerce requires, and the opensource version goes
> (forks) off on it's own way. (presumably without the main coders that
> organized it in the first place)

Not quite.

Dual licensing customarily means that the copyright holder of a program
(who has to hold the copyrights to *all* the code -- and yes, this
means that if you depend on GPL'd bits from other places, you can't
dual-license without their cooperation) continues to license the
program to anyone who's willing to take it under the restraints the GPL
places upon it, but also offers commercial licenses (with, obviously,
fewer restrictions) to people who are willing to pay for the privilege
of *not* contributing their modifications back to the community.

Commonly, a commercial dual license is for a specific version, though
it may, depending on the intents of the parties, entitle that licensee
to future released versions as well.

You can see why a dual-licensing strategy pretty much *requires*
copyright assignment to a single central party.

I *believe* that the validity of copyright assignments to such a
central party is not dependent on whether the author knew what the
assignee's plans for the code were, but IANAL.

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                                                jra at baylink.com
Designer                          Baylink                             RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates        The Things I Think                        '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA      http://baylink.pitas.com             +1 727 647 1274

	A: No.
	Q: Should I include quotations after my message body?

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