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I understand that if someone chooses not to upgrade their software they are free to retain all license benefits of their existing software.

Please assume the following:

  • XYZ software version 1.0 has an The MIT License
  • XYZ software version 1.1 has a LGPL-3.0 License
  • XYZpro software version 1.0 has a LGPL-3.0 License
  • XYZ software version 1.1 is identical to XYZpro software version 1.0

XYZ software version 1.0 continues to work as always but requires a change to a LGPL-3.0 License in order to upgrade to version 1.1 and take advantage of new features. Does a user who upgrades from XYZ software version 1.0 to version 1.1 have identical licensing rights as someone who downloads XYZpro software version 1.0?

Basically I am asking if a license change upon upgrade would still retain any benefits (or restrictions) associated with the features contained in the previous version of the software before it was updated?

It seems clear that XYZpro software version 1.0 has a LGPL-3.0 License

Does XYZ software version 1.1 still retain any MIT License benefits for features not altered during the upgrade from XYZ software version 1.0?

  • I guess this is too broad unless you use specific existing licenses. – Michael Schumacher Jun 19 '16 at 15:19
  • @MichaelSchumacher I meant to be general, but updated my question with license types per your advice – Smart Kid Jun 19 '16 at 15:29
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Does XYZ software version 1.1 still retain any MIT License benefits for features not altered during the upgrade from XYZ software version 1.0?

No.

A license is attached to a specific set of code hence to a specific version and eventually a specific distribution.

You can continue to use the older MIT-licensed version under the MIT license.

If the newer version is LGPL-licensed as a whole, the LGPL apply to this whole version irrespective of the fact that some of the same code was under MIT in the previous version.

For instance, take MySQL: it is available from Oracle under the GPL or a commercial license. These are different builds of the same code. However, the same code can have different licenses and that fact does NOT make the rights from the license of one of the distributions flow to another distribution of the same code under another license.

2

It would and would not. All code in XYZ 1.1 would be under the LGPL-3.0 including the code from XYZ 1.0. However, if you can isolate code that came only from XYZ 1.0 without any XYZ 1.1 code at all, that code would still be covered by the MIT license. That's the general case, however it's advisable to go back to XYZ 1.0 and get the code directly from it because of the exception case of a license change.

If the release of XYZ 1.1 was by the owner(s) of the copyrights and/or with authorization for a license change from all the copyright owners, the release can change the license terms on all of the code. In that case even the code in 1.1 that came from 1.0 is completely under the LGPL-3.0 in the 1.1 release. This doesn't, however, change the license terms on the 1.0 release itself, it remains under the MIT license and you can take code from it without involving the LGPL-3.0.

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