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From Geir Magnusson Jr. <ge...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Apache License : grant of patent license and derivative works
Date Wed, 30 Mar 2005 10:40:01 GMT
Am I missing mail?  Did Jeff originally write to license-discuss?

On Mar 30, 2005, at 12:29 AM, William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:

> At 09:16 PM 3/29/2005, Jeffrey Thompson wrote:
>
>> I'm normally quite a pessimistic guy, but I wouldn't be as 
>> pessimistic as that either.  The patent license applies to 
>> combinations of your Contribution combined with the Work.  "Work" 
>> doesn't mean only that specific version of the code that existed at 
>> the precise time that you made your Contribution.  If it did, then 
>> the patent commitment would be meaningless because changes are made 
>> every day.  Work means the code that is licensed under the Apache 
>> license to which the code was Contributed, or the "Project".  So, if 
>> you contribute to V1, the V1 is the Work and your patent license 
>> applies to your Contribution combined into V1.  When V2 comes out, V2 
>> is also the Work and the license applies there as well.
>
> I agree, but consider the following (real) scenario.  Patents don't
> apply, but easily could in a similar case.
>
> Apache HTTP Server uses a patent (not really) that describes a method
> to close a socket in a graceful manner, by waiting a certain number
> of seconds before performing a 'hard close' irrespective of if the
> client was waiting, or went away.  We (really) call the concept
> lingering close.
>
> Apache HTTP Server 2.0 is released, and does the same thing for http:
> sockets again as it did in it's 1.3 version.
>
> Someone comes along and writes an ftp: module for Apache.  It uses the
> lingering close feature.  Unfortunately, the grantor of this 
> (non)patent
> never intended to give it to the ASF for any purpose other than http:
> and did not license that application of the method.
>
> So we can easily be tripped up.  That said, the case doesn't vary that
> much from the case where someone patented the lingering close method
> unbeknownst to the ASF, and serves us a C&D to quit doing it.  I would
> expect the grantor who willing offered us the lingering close method
> to come back and state 'hey, that was for http: - what have you done?
> Please quit it!'  And so, we would.
>
> Now, I think a better solution is for the CCLA/ICLA to force the
> individual to not only disclose the patent granted but it's scope
> of fair use, so there is no ambiguity, and document same in NOTICE
> for the particular project.
>
> But now I'll let the real legal folks disagree with me :)
>
> Bill
>
>
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-- 
Geir Magnusson Jr                                  +1-203-665-6437
geirm@apache.org


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