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From Roy T. Fielding <>
Subject Re: Harmony Podlling Quarterly Report
Date Fri, 29 Jul 2005 17:56:19 GMT
On Jul 28, 2005, at 9:41 PM, Dalibor Topic wrote:
> I'd like to sublicense all of ASF's ASL2 licensed Works in Source form 
> and
> distribute those sublicensed Works to others under a GPL2/LGPL/ASL2
> triple license (like Mozilla) on, say,
> Is that fine with the ASL2? My impression is that the ASF explicitly
>  wants to
> allow people to sublicense ASF's Works under a single, different
>  license, to
> allow for use in more restrictively licensed software. In my case
>  it's the GPL,
> so I believe that should be as fine, as any use by IBM or Sun in
>  some of their
> proprietary products, for example,

Yes, we have no problem with that provided our license is followed
in regards to retaining the notices and license in the work.

> Are the provisions of the section 4 supposed to be transitive,
> i.e. to apply to
> all steps in the distribution chain, or not? Afaict, the requirement
>  to carry
> around the Apache License is lost after I pass my sublicensed
>  GPL2/ASL2 version
> on to others, as they can chose to accept the GPL and not
> carry the additional
> ASL around when they redistribute further.

No, it isn't lost -- the GPL requires that those notices remain
intact as well and it doesn't matter how many times they change
hands -- the Apache license remains the way in which the copyright
owner gave everyone else the right to reproduce the software.
The fact that you added a more restrictive set of terms (GPL)
does not change the original terms.

> The patent retaliation would seem to only concern me (yeah right,
>  I live in
> Europe anyway ;), but as long as I do not sue people for patents,
>  I have my own
> license to use, and those that received the Works from me are
>  protected by the
> liberal provisions of the GPL, that remain in force despite
>  the termination
> provisions of the ASL, if my recepients chose the GPL, as GPL
>  does not know the
> concept of patent termination.

No, you don't understand.  Neither the ASL nor the GPL creates
a patent license.  Apache has a contributors agreement in which
all significant contributors agree to provide a patent license
to all recipients of Apache software (including those who received
it via a GPL redistribution) which *may* be terminated if the
recipient sues the contributor for patent infringement claiming
that the work to which they contributed the license infringes
one of that recipient's patents.  The ASL merely informs the
recipient that we have arranged for that patent license to be
granted as part of the CLA.

In contrast, if you receive software via the GPL or MIX/X or
BSD licenses, there is no patent license at all and your rights
are equivalent to those where the license was terminated.  I have
talked to Eben about that and he claims that the FSF can argue that
an implied patent license exists if the patent owner distributes
as GPL from the start, but such reasoning has never been tested
in court and most lawyers I've talked to say it could only apply
to the initial recipients of the GPL'd work and not to
redistributors who are unknown to the patent owner.

> Would it be possible to fix the small bug in the ASL2 this way?

No, it is not a bug.  It is an intentional feature to help those
of us who do not litigate our license to keep our developers
out of the court system and protect our foundation from submarine
submission of patented material.  The bug is in the FSF's refusal
to fix their own license in spite of the fact that they actually
approve of the termination clause.


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