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From "Ryan Ackley" <sack...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Rejection of any ENCUMBERED Microsoft Donation to POI
Date Thu, 17 Apr 2008 00:10:13 GMT

>From my point-of-view you are pretty much asking for nothing less than
Microsoft to go beyond the OSP for POI. Correct?

>From a practical standpoint you're asking for Microsoft to re-write
the OSP to your satisfaction. Because If they do it for Apache it
would pretty much apply to everyone because anyone could just say
they're software was derived from POI, therefore it was covered by the
new OSP just for POI.

I respect your position. POI is your baby and caution is most
definitely warranted when dealing with Microsoft.

Some facts to consider: I've never heard of a case of Microsoft using
their patents offensively. Also, there seems to be a general consensus
in the community that the OSP is "good enough" protection. There are
several other open source projects that don't seem to be worried about
it, including OpenOffice.  Finally, anytime a single line of code is
committed to an open source project, there is a risk of it infringing
some frivolous patent somewhere. It's a sad reality of our IP laws.


On 4/16/08, Nick Burch <nick@torchbox.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Apr 2008, Andrew C. Oliver wrote:
> > I totally don't get the CLA-C argument.
> >
> It's a bit subtle, and it took me a little while to understand :)
> Let us imagine that Acme Corp holds three patents, patent A, patent B and
> patent C. Acme Corp has a ccla on file, as does its sole employee, Jim, who
> also has an icla on file.
> Jim starts contributing to Apache Foo on company time. He writes some code
> in an area covered by patent A. All users of Apache Foo now have a grant
> covering patent A. However, they don't have any rights on patents B or C.
> Now, you are also an Apache Foo contributor. You write commit some code,
> which is in an area covered by patent B. However, as no Acme Corp employees
> have worked on that bit of code, there is no grant covering patent B, so we
> potentially have a problem. We still have a grant on patent A, but nothing
> for patent C.
> Jim now submits some patches to your contributions. Now, we do have work
> from Acme Corp in the area covered by patent B. So, there's now a grant
> covering patents A and B. However, there's still no grant on patent C.
> Does that make sense? If we got a ccla from Microsoft tomorrow, it wouldn't
> make any difference to POI, as Microsoft don't own the copyright on any
> contributions to POI, so there will be no patent grants.  In order to get
> patent grants under the ccla, we'd need Microsoft to both file a ccla, and
> have their employees work on POI. This is why many of us feel that the
> Microsoft ccla issue is a red herring.
> Do shout if that's still not clear enough, and I'll have another try at
> explaining it all!
> Nick
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