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From Daniel John Debrunner <...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [VOTE] New ASF/JCP Policies
Date Mon, 09 Jul 2007 20:12:40 GMT
William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:
> Ralph Goers wrote:
>> I don't see how either of those two sections prohibit Apache from
>> "spending energy on other matters" than open source software. In fact,
>> the certificate says "The purpose of the Corporation is to engage in any
>> lawful act or activity for which corporations which are organized not
>> for profit may be organized under the General Corporation Law of the
>> State of Delaware, including the creation and maintenance of "open
>> source" software distributed by the Corporation to the public at no
>> charge."
>>
>> That seems pretty wide open to me.
> 
> Under that category of "lawful act or activity", there is an additional
> express purpose that we do nothing to endanger our 501(c)3 status as a
> public, not for profit charitable foundation.  And this includes various
> and sundry things such as not acting for the benefit of any singular
> commercial or personal enterprise.  If our project efforts behind one of
> the specifications went to the exclusive gain of a single company without
> fair and open opportunities for competition, that status could be fractured.
> 
> Therefore we watch the encumbrances on all of our projects, we implemented
> an IP intake process through the incubator, and we won't accept projects
> or code with restrictive covenants against using ASF source code for any
> purpose whatsoever.

I can't see the link between those last two paragraphs. How does the ASF 
developing code with restrictive covenants* benefit a single party**?

To abstract out the ASF for a moment. If a 501(c)3 was set up to develop 
& distribute an open***, free version of a certified Java(tm) for 
research on desktop and server machines, would that be in violation of 
its charitable status because it was only benefiting Sun Microsystems? 
Seems unlikely to me.

Dan.

*[I know we don't want to do that, but that's different from does it 
affect our 501(c)3 status]
**[assuming the covenants are not obviously for the benefit of a single 
party, e.g. can only be used by Microsoft].
***[open, not "open source"(tm)]

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