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From (Beth Frank)
Subject Re: Questions about Apache License (fwd)
Date Wed, 13 Sep 1995 14:22:34 GMT
In reply to  Paul Richards who said
>  * The "Apache Group" has based this server, called "Apache", on
>  * public domain code distributed under the name "NCSA httpd 1.3".
>  * 
>  * NCSA httpd 1.3 was placed in the public domain by the National Center 
>  * for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois 
>  * at Urbana-Champaign.
>  * 
> More unecessary drivel.
>  *  "Portions developed at the National Center for Supercomputing
>  *   Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign."
> Just add this to those files that are derived from NCSA code. I think
> those files should also have NCSA copyrights on them with the
> author of the changes adding their copyright to mark it as a derived
> work.
> -- 
>   Paul Richards, Netcraft Ltd.
>   Internet:,
>   Phone: 0370 462071 (Mobile), +44 1225 447500 (work)

Please keep the NCSA attribution.  I think that it is useful
for the information about which NCSA httpd version the code
was originally based on to be included in the source distribution
somewhere.  I don't think it needs to be included in every file. 
Perhaps it could be placed in just the README and the documentation?

When we were going through our  copyright hassles, the impression
I got was that code was either public domain or it wasn't.
If the code was public domain you can request that that it not
be resold but when push comes to shove you can't really do
much about it.  Most of the other verbage is just a guideline
that you are requesting people to follow and the majority people
will follow it.  If the code is public domain and they choose not
to follow your guidelines, chances are you would lose any legal
battle over it (although if you have the money to burn, you can
drag the legal battle out long enough to consume their profits).

If you reserve the copyright to a legal entity, then the verbage
that follows the copyright statement is important only in that
it is a form of licensing.  (eg. In the NCSA httpd 1.5, it's a
license to use it for non-commercial use, with non-commercial
use defined as not placing it in any package that is being
sold.)  Anyone not covered by the distributed license has to
contact the holder of the copyright for a license to use the
software in the way they wish to.  The problem with reserving
the copyright is that you have to defend it or lose it.  I'm
not sure that the Apache group has the resources to actually
defend a copyright, if it should become necessary.  And any
truely slimey individual would probably be aware of that.  So
I'm not sure what you gain by reserving the copyright to a 
group that may or may not have a legal status.  Those who are
willing to play by the rules will probably follow whatever
guidelines are listed with the copyright whether that copyright
grants ownership to the public domain or not.  It probably won't
matter what your copyright is to those who want to misuse the
code, unless you can convince them that you'll enforce your

		Elizabeth(Beth) Frank
		NCSA Server Development Team

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