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From Ceki Gülcü <c...@qos.ch>
Subject Re: Short Apache licence for source files
Date Wed, 04 Dec 2002 13:49:05 GMT
At 07:31 04.12.2002 -0500, Sam Ruby wrote:
>Stefan Mainz wrote:
>>Ceki Gülcü wrote:
>>>I do not understand what Roy means by "the scope of what was covered
>>>beyond 'this file'" Copyright law only protects the expression of an
>>>idea, so I am baffled by what is meant by the scope beyond the file,
>>>that is the written expression of the software developer. How can
>>>copyright law apply to anything beyond the file?
>>Propably i am not the right person to answer this (not being a lawyer), but:
>>If you refer to a file which includes the license and the license says
>>_this file_ the license applies to the license file, not the onw which 
>>referes to the file.
>IANAL either.  My understanding matches Stefan's above.  If you include 
>the current license by reference, the ASF appears to be well protected, 
>but you may not be achieving what you want.  People who make use of the 
>code you produce may some day be surprised to find that the only thing 
>they actually have permission to make use of is the LICENSE FILE itself, 
>subject of course to the terms contained therein.

OK, I think I understand slightly better but our license refers to
"this software" not to any specific file.

I think we all agree that referring to the license means that the
terms of the license apply, at least that is the intention.

There are three possible cases.

1) Bad faith interpretation

Someone decides that the license applies to the license file itself
and not to other files. If the license does not apply, then that
someone does not have the legal right to copy our software.

I think this is the case Roy was referring to in his comments -- the
comments I forwarded earlier without permission.

2) Good faith but cautious interpretation

In this case, someone is worried that the license applies to the
license file itself but not to other files. Thus, he or she decides
not use our software for fear of violating copyright law. Isn't this a
bit farfetched? Couldn't we address this concern in the license FAQ?

3) Intended interpretation

The Apache license applies even by reference as intended. No problems there.

>The next license is intended to fix this.

Could we say referring to the license 1.1 is not recommended practice
but doing so does NOT make you a bad citizen?

>- Sam Ruby


TCP implementations will follow a general principle of robustness: be
conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from
others. -- Jon Postel, RFC 793

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