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From Simon Kitching <skitch...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Graduate Beehive into a TLP
Date Fri, 15 Jul 2005 11:03:22 GMT
On Fri, 2005-07-15 at 03:19 -0700, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
> On Jul 14, 2005, at 3:51 PM, Simon Kitching wrote:
> > Could someone please provide information on any patents known to apply
> > to this project?
> 
> No, damnit. That is not how patents work!  If we are notified of a
> patent owned by some entity that has not signed a CLA and contributed
> the code, then and ONLY THEN do we spend time analyzing whether the
> claims apply to some project of ours.  Under no circumstances should
> an Apache project go out and search for patents that might apply
> based on their own opinion of what is claimed or what we implement.

That is not what I meant, as you would see if you read the full original
posting.

I am concerned about:

* Situations like the Web Security project, where the OASIS
specification being implemented by Apache explicitly states that there
are patents claimed over the specification.

* Situations where the original provider of the code explicitly stating
that there are patents on the work they are providing, and that they are
providing licensing to Apache for the purposes of that project.


Discussions regarding the Web Security situation on legal-discuss have
revealed that IBM have provided a "patent license" to Apache for this
particular project. However, in the opinions of at least one lawyer, any
derivative work beyond "minor bugfixes" will require an explicit patent
grant from IBM. I've joined that discussion half-way through, so can't
say much more until I have time to trawl through the whole thread.
However this just doesn't fit with my idea of open source.

Given this, it would be nice to know that the Beehive project doesn't
have any such situation (ie patent license explicitly granted to Apache
but *not* to derivative works) before promotion out of the sandbox
occurs.

I agree that *looking* for possible patents is unreasonable and actually
unwise.

Regards,

Simon


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