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From Davanum Srinivas <dava...@gmail.com>
Subject Fwd: IBM's license for WS-Security
Date Fri, 24 Jun 2005 01:58:33 GMT

Here's the feedback on the IBM License (Sorry the U.S. Export clause
was only in the MSFT license and i wrongly copied it in the email i
sent to you).


Some brief comments on the IBM license for WS-Security:

1. The license would allow ASF to make, sell etc. only Licensed Products
that are compliant with "all relevant portions of the Specification." What
are relevant portions? Is ASF willing to guarantee full compliance? (Section
1.1 and 6.2.)

2. The license is nontransferrable. Under this license, ASF can't allow
third parties to make Licensed Products, which is contrary to ASF's license.
While the license purports to be sublicenseable, that sublicense extends
only to "Subsidiaries," which is irrelevant to ASF's model or open source in
general. (Section 1.3.)

3. ASF can't experiment with this patented technology unless it in fact
afterwards executes this agreement. Prior infringment isn't excused
otherwise. So be careful until you decide to execute the agreement. (Section

4. The patent termination provision (section 2.2) is very broad and applies
to any claim for patent infringement. Such provisions have been denounced by
several companies, and ASF changed its Apache 2.0 license in response to
such criticism. Now IBM is resurrecting it here.

5. For some reason, IBM has the right to publicise the agreement but the
other party doesn't. (Section 5.2.). This lack of balance of rights in IBM's
licenses always troubles me. Furthermore, why that restriction?

6. The license requires formal execution. (Section 5.6.) That kind of
licensing friction doesn't work for open source downstream licensees who
intend to make, use, sell, etc., Licensed Products or derivative works.

7. This license doesn't include a copyright license to "implementation
examples." So be careful not to copy those examples when implementing the
Specification. (Section 6.1, final sentence.)

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