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From Paul Richards <>
Subject Re: Questions about Apache License (fwd)
Date Thu, 14 Sep 1995 15:23:54 GMT
In reply to Andrew Wilson who said
> > I think Paul has made some excellent points about the license, and 
> > probably has more experience with this than anyone else on the team.  He 
> > knows where our heads are in terms of how we want this server to be used 
> > abd the restrictions we want... if he were to submit a patch on the 
> > license I would probably +1 it.  This should be resolved before a +1.  I 
> > fully support keeping a mention to NCSA and Rob McCool in as well.
> Sound

Ok, I'll work in a license and look over the code etc.

> > As to the legality of the name "Apache Group" - whatever minimal action 
> > can be taken to secure that name, perhaps even trademark it, let's do 
> > it.  I'll probably be the one paying $50/year to get the domain name 
> > anyways, so I'm willing to be one of the "names" on whatever legal 
> > documents need to be there - Organic can be a sponsoring organization if 
> > need be as well.
> Oh god, that really opens a can of worms.  Let Paul fill you in on the
> FreeBSD way of doing things, such as they are.

Hmm, well, as Andrew knows, we recognised a need for this in FreBSD and
the result was lots of hassle (some of you may have noticed my .sig no
longer lists me as a FreeBSD core member). Be VERY carefull about heading
down this road. It means incorporating the project, i.e. setting up a
business that has a board of directors, has to submit taxes and so forth.

The advantages are that there is a legal body that can hold the copyright of
the code, hold a trademark etc. You can also take contributions of finance
or hardware for the project but the people who volunteer to be directors
have to deal with the administrative overhead of running a business and
that may not be acceptable to everyone.

There's also the question of incorporation costs. Also, be damn sure you
set up the company as a proper not-for-profit organisation or other
project members will not be too happy about certain individuals running
a profitable company off the back of the project even if it is with the
best of intentions.

To be honest, there's not a lot to gain at this stage for Apache. I'm
not sure Apache can be trademarked, someone might like to check. Holding
a trademark is about the only reason I can think of for this project
to incorporate since it doesn't require financing at this stage and there's
no particular reason for some independant entity to hold the copyright of
the code since it's fine for the author to hold the copyright as long as
it's licensed in a manner that means it can be freely used by the project.

As I mentioned before, the project doesn't have to be a legal entity
in order to be attributed or referred to as a project or whatever.
It's only an issue if you end up in some legal situation that
requires clear ownership. I explained the reason for this to Rob
H. if he still has that message maybe he could post it. It basically
comes down to there being a clearly identifiable individual for
the lawyer to deal with should it ever be necessary. If files are
copyrighted by the author then it's clear cut, if they're copyrighted
by some other body then it has to exist in some formal sense and
have clear representation (such as a major shareholder).

  Paul Richards, Netcraft Ltd.
  Phone: 0370 462071 (Mobile), +44 1225 447500 (work)

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