I'd like to find a succinct definition of what it means in a software license agreement, to make the license "sublicensable (through multiple tiers)". Ideally this would be a definition that could be included in such an agreement to make it clear to a layperson what this phrase means.

How would you define "sublicensable (through multiple tiers)"?


How about this:

A license that provides that the owner of the copyright in a software gives other people (the Licensees) the authorization:

  1. to make copies of the software;
  2. to authorize other people (the Sub-Licensees) to make copies of the software; and
  3. to authorize the Sub-Licensees to, in turn, grant to other people the right to do 1, 2 and 3.*

I guess we could call this a recursively sub-licensable right! :)

  • 1
    If there is an extensive license accompanying this clause, it would be worth setting out explicitly that sub-licensees would be bound by all/select terms of the license. eg. 'to make copies of the software (subject to the full text of this license).' – Morgan Hickman Jan 24 '17 at 22:56

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