On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 6:12 PM, Petr Onderka <gsvick@gmail.com> wrote:
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 1:57 AM, Ryan Lane <rlane@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> If there's a crucial bot or tool that uses a proprietary license and the
> benefactor decides to revoke its license, what do we do?

I don't think licenses usually work that way.

If I share some code under an open source license, I can't later
decide to revoke it.

Similarly, if I share some application or library under a freeware
license (gratis, but not open source), I think I can't later decide to
just revoke it (unless the original license terms clearly stated that
I can do that, or unless it was a time-limited license to begin with).

Almost all software licenses fall into that "unless".

The conditions under which they are revocable vary from license, and the variations are more or less problematic when you're trying to build a long-term, stable, sustainable project. But they're definitely almost all revocable. If they aren't revocable, they probably weren't written in consultation with a lawyer, and so they probably have other problems - failure to grant all the rights you actually need to run or modify the software being common examples.

Petr Onderka

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