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From Tor-Einar Jarnbjo <Tor-Ei...@Jarnbjo.de>
Subject Re: CLA issues Was: java.sql.*
Date Mon, 13 Feb 2006 00:34:15 GMT
Geir Magnusson Jr wrote:

>> I thought I better split this, to prevent the discussion from getting 
>> too confusing. One thing I already pointed out with the Apache CLA is 
>> that it is very biased towards US copyright law.
> Well, the ASF is a US Corporation (non-profit) so those are the laws 
> under which we operate.

Yes, but US laws are not the laws under which probably most of the 
contributors are operating and not the laws applicable in most locations 
where Apache software is being used. Copyright is a legal area where US 
and British law deviate quite a lot from most other countries and 
assuming or expecting that US law is relevant if it comes to a legal 
dispute between e.g. a non-US contributor and a non-US software user or 
a non-US owner of related intelletual rights, is IMHO rather naive.

>>  License". First problem is, that I can't grant you anything I 
>> currently don't have, a "copyright" on my work. The German 
>> counterpart, my "Urheberrecht" is not transferable and any license I 
>> give to use, redistribute, modify etc. the work may under some 
>> conditions be revoked. Any contract diverging from these principles 
>> is in Germany legally void.
> We aren't asking for a copyright transfer.  You still retain any and 
> all copyright on the work.  What you are doing is granting a license 
> to the work under the Apache License.

Well, you skip the most important part, that some statements in the 
paragraph are legally void in Germany, and probably most countries, not 
having an Anglo-Saxon style copyright law. Most problematic are probably 
the claims for an perpetual, irrevocable license and the claim for 
sublicensing rights and rights to produce derivative works. I really 
don't like to bother with legal regulations, but wether you or I like 
it, this agreement won't hold if proven in a German court and a German 
court will be responsible, if a German contributor for some reason 
should decide to take legal actions against some other German entity, 
which e.g. is producing, distributing or using a derivate work of the 
contributor's original work. The word "German" in the last sentence may 
be replaced with many other nationalities, without invalidating the 
content :-/


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