Subject: Re: question about copying small amounts of code from BSD, MIT or Apache 1.1 licensed open source...
From: Roddixon <>
Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2005 20:53 -0400

Your question is not really germane to open source  -- except, perhaps, as 
a matter of potential free riding.  Even so, whether a snippet of source 
code taken from its original source and copied into a new program would be 
deemed permissible without authorization depends on the snippet of code, 
and the answers to questions like:  Does the snippet of code constitute 
copyrightable expression? Is it subject to fair use? etc. The answers to 
these questions cannot be answered in the abstract. You'll need to consult 
a lawyer for an answer that's worthy of reliability. But, if the code 
segment constitutes mere method (or is otherwise unoriginal expression) or, 
on the other hand, is copyrightable expression, but likely subject to fair 
use, then I doubt that the BSD  license would pose a copyright problem for 

- Rod
Rod Dixon

...... Original Message .......
On Wed, 5 Jan 2005 14:43:24 -0800 Pete Eakle <> wrote:
>if I am looking for examples of how a certain API is invoked, and I
>find a good example within a method of some open source with a
>permissive license, such as BSD, can I copy those few lines of code
>into my program without having to also add the BSD copyright statement
>to my program?
>The New BSD license talks about "Redistributions of source code", as
>when you must "retain the above copyright notice".  But by copying a
>few lines of code (say, just a piece of a method or subroutine), does
>that constitute a "Redistribution"?   Anyone aware of what the law
>says about this, or where I might go to find out?
>Thanks a lot.
>    -Pete