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From Graham Leggett <minf...@sharp.fm>
Subject Re: DAV Option Patch
Date Tue, 15 Sep 2009 09:25:15 GMT
Brian J. France wrote:

> Jari is the original author of mod_dav_acl, which requires patches to
> httpd to work.  I need the same functionality added to httpd to get a
> mod_dav_acl type module working, so I have split up his patch into
> smaller pieces.  Can a patch be under a different license than the
> original code?

Yes it can, but only the author of the original code can do that, as
only the original author (the copyright holder) can set the terms by
which his patch can be used.

The way forward is to ask Jari to submit his httpd-2.2.8-ju.patch to us,
granting us permission to use the Apache software license on it.

At that point you are free to chop up the patch and submit it to us.

Long answer: A person who creates some code owns the copyright on that
code, and can set any terms they like on it's use. The copyright holder
can also change their mind as to the terms at some future date, and they
can also give one group of people the code under terms A (like bundled
with mod_dav_acl under the LGPL) and simultaneously give another group
of people the same code under terms B (like giving httpd-2.2.8-ju.patch
to the ASF under the ASL).

The reason all this matters is the terms of the LGPL - any derivative
work of LGPL code (ie your patches, derived from Jari's patches), has to
also be licensed under the LGPL. And LGPL code cannot be imported into
other code that isn't itself LGPL. Because httpd isn't LGPL, the LGPL
license doesn't allow it, so we (the httpd project) are legally obliged
in terms of the LGPL not to accept it.

The solution is for Jari to release httpd-2.2.8-ju.patch to us under the
ASL, and that clears the way legally for all the code to be officially
incorporated into the httpd codebase, removing the need for the special
patch on your side, and that can be done by Jari submitting the
httpd-2.2.8-ju.patch on this mailing list, and confirming his permission
to release it under the ASL.

Jari is still free to include the httpd-2.2.8-ju.patch within
mod_dav_acl under the LGPL, because he is free to license his code in as
many ways as he likes. The existing mod_dav_acl is not affected in any way.

Regards,
Graham
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