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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <wr...@rowe-clan.net>
Subject RE: Apache License : grant of patent license and derivative works
Date Thu, 31 Mar 2005 18:10:19 GMT
At 09:48 PM 3/30/2005, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
>> >Is it possible for someone to re-phrase this?? I can't understand it.
>I didn't write the Apache license and I'm not a great fan of the wording of
>its patent grant.

Having reread it, I can understand why

>But here's what I think it means, and here's how the
>OSL/AFL licenses state what I thought was the same concept:
>   2) Grant of Patent License. Licensor hereby grants You 
>   a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual, 
>   sublicenseable license, under patent claims owned or 
>   controlled by the Licensor that are embodied in the 
>   Original Work as furnished by the Licensor, to make, 
>   use, sell and offer for sale the Original Work and 
>   Derivative Works.
>If this does NOT have the same effect as the Apache license, I'd appreciate
>an explanation of how it differs.

I see that the ASL clause doesn't include derivative language;

   3. Grant of Patent License. Subject to the terms and conditions of
      this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a perpetual,
      worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable
      (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made,
      use, offer to sell, sell, import, and otherwise transfer the Work,
      where such license applies only to those patent claims licensable
      by such Contributor that are necessarily infringed by their
      Contribution(s) alone or by combination of their Contribution(s)
      with the Work to which such Contribution(s) was submitted. If You
      institute patent litigation against any entity (including a
      cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the Work
      or a Contribution incorporated within the Work constitutes direct
      or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses
      granted to You under this License for that Work shall terminate
      as of the date such litigation is filed.

Three things occur to me;

*) We are missing the derivative clause for patents.  If we did add
   this in the ASL 2.1 or 3.0, contributors have agreed to be bound
   to the language of future licenses.  But it seems that due to how
   narrowly and specifically this clause was written, would a revised
   clause 3. be sufficient to bind previous patent contributions?

*) Does the fact that this was narrowly written actually increase
   the position of the patent holder, to the detriment of the user?
   Were it better had we said nothing about patents, v.s. this
   specific language?

*) Why did we limit the impact of the self-destruct clause within
   the patent license to terminating patent licenses alone?  If we
   spark GTW (global thermonuclear war, a running joke among members)
   why would we explicitly preserve their copyright license grants?

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