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From "Mark R. Diggory" <>
Subject Re: [math] ACM license
Date Tue, 27 May 2003 16:00:49 GMT

I caution at assuming this is 'restrictive'. I would like to point out 
an important clause in this license that you should consider, I've 
received emails from ACM members who are following our project (I am 
actually an inactive ACM member myself). ACM is a member based 
organization just like Apache.

>To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires
>a fee and/or specific permission.
Basically what this is saying is "talk to us". ACM is suggesting 
involvement and acknowledgment of their efforts in organizing and 
archiving these algorithms. I think often these license clauses (while 
legally protecting the the license') are also grounds for establishing 
'legal' avenues of involvement and partnership.  This clause basically 
makes it the responsibility of ACM to decide if the terms and conditions 
of the license are to be applied. It gives them jurisdiction to alter 
the conditions for the license on a case by case basis. As such, if we 
have an interest in using ACM material, we should contact ACM and get an 
official position on the usage of such material for an Open Source 
Apache project and the legal bindings they would want in such a 

We also have to consider here, what *copies are not made or distributed 
for direct commercial advantage* means in this case as well. This really 
appears similar (yet vague) to the Apache clause that suggests that you 
cannot use the Apache name as a label to promote your project. IE you 
can say 'Foobar, Powered by Apache', but you can't say 'Apache FooBar ', 
which suggests that Apache endorses your FooBar as an Apache product. I 
feel this is suggesting that you can't use the ACM algorithms as a basis 
to gain commercial advantage over another product, not that you are 
excluded from using them in a commercial product or to use them here?

Perhaps, as ACM has such a large repository of public source. Apache and 
ACM should get together and establish an avenue of opinion when it comes 
to this case and other cases where ACM algorithms may be applied in 
Apache Source code. Remember, the core necessity of Open Source 
licensing is about protecting the authors rights, not about restricting 
the reuse and development of Open Source code.


Al Chou wrote:

>--- wrote:
>>>--- Phil Steitz <> wrote:
>>>Many entries found in 
>>>Netlib repository are from ACM publications, which
>>>are subject to the 
>>>     Submittal of  an  algorithm    for publication 
>>>in   one of   the ACM
>>>     Transactions implies that unrestricted use  of
>>>the algorithm within a
>>>     computer is permissible.   General permission 
>>>to copy and distribute
>>>     the algorithm without fee is granted provided
>>>that the copies  are 
>>>     made  or   distributed for  direct   commercial
>>> advantage.    The 
>>>     copyright notice and the title of the
>>>publication and its date 
>>>     and  notice is given that copying  is by
>>>permission of the 
>>>     for Computing Machinery.  To copy otherwise, or
>>>to republish, 
>>>     a fee and/or specific permission.
>>I don't know if I would call that Apache-compatible licensing terms. The 
>>language seems to specifically preclude distribution for profit, which is 
>>a restriction over and above the Apache license.
>Darn, I should have read the Apache license first.  I didn't realize until this
>morning how un-restrictive it is.  Oh, well.
>Albert Davidson Chou
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