[messaging] WhatsApp & OWS team up

Parker Higgins parker at eff.org
Tue Nov 18 11:36:38 PST 2014

On 11/18/14 11:27 AM, Tao Effect wrote:
> Good observation Nadim, I'm also curious about the GPL question.
> Maybe some EFF folks can answer that?

Not a lawyer, but I am an EFF folk. I endorse Zaki Manian's answer:

> The OWS Contributor Agreement appears to permit multiple licensing
> agreements that would permit using OWS open source code within a
> proprietary app after reaching an agreement with OWS which is
> probably what is happening here.
> https://whispersystems.org/cla/
>> Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms and conditions of
>> this Agreement, You hereby grant to Open Whisper Systems and to
>> recipients of software distributed by Open Whisper Systems a
>> perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free,
>> irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works
>> of, publicly display, publicly perform, and distribute Your
>> Contributions and such derivative works, as well as the right to
>> sublicense and have sublicensed all of the foregoing rights, through
>> multiple tiers of sublicensees, provided that in all cases, Open
>> Whisper Systems will make Your Contributions available under an
>> OSI-approved open source license.

My read of this clause is that OWS can't just offer a license to
WhatsApp (thanks to the last sentence) but can release it to them under
an OSI-approved non-copyleft license.


Parker Higgins
Electronic Frontier Foundation

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