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From Jeffrey Thompson <jt...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: Proposed header text at the top of each LICENSE file
Date Tue, 29 Nov 2005 00:33:13 GMT
Cliff Schmidt <cliffs@apache.org> wrote on 11/28/2005 06:58:22 PM:

> On Nov 28, 2005, at 3:33 PM, Jeffrey Thompson wrote:
> > I don't see how we're representing that.  Whoever contributed the 
> > code under the Apache license (if anyone) would be making a patent 
> > grant, but I don't recall Apache ever claiming that it had the 
> > ability to go find everyone who has contributed copyrightable code 
> > to old BSD projects and get patent grants.  Frankly, I think that 
> > would be a waste of time.  And I don't see anything in the ASLv2 
> > that requires it.
> All I'm saying is that if an ASF distribution includes a third-party 
> component under the BSD license, the ASF should not be changing the 
> license of that component.  We could certainly license the collective 
> work of the ASF distribution under the Apache License, but we should 
> not be sublicensing the BSD component with an Apache License.
> Are you disagreeing with this?

"should" calls for a value judgment. 

You certainly are legally able to do that.  The BSD license doesn't 
require that you pass on all of the rights that you get, so you can select 
a different license as long as you aren't purporting to pass on more 
copyright rights than you got.  And I don't think that that would be the 
case with BSD and ASLv2. 

Now, whether you "should" is a different question.  You have comity issues 
with the other projects, etc. that might lead you to believe that they 
wouldn't want you to be changing their licenses, but I'm not aware that 
that's really been a problem historically.  I could be somewhat 
underinformed on that, though. 

However, as a "user", license proliferation is a real pain in the xxxxx. I 
don't see that getting any better any time soon.  At the very least, we 
should be able to depend on some of the key FOSS organizations to try to 
keep a handle on things.  When I go to FSF, I know that I'm getting 
GPL/LGPL code.  When I go to Eclipse, I expect the code to be EPL.  It 
would be nice if we could keep the assumption that Apache is ASL (possibly 
except for clearly marked exceptions).  If that's not the case, things are 
indeed going downhill fast.

In one of your prior notes you mentioned critical CPL/MPL dependencies. 
Obviously, you have a deeper understanding than I do on that point, so 
I'll defer to you.  However, we should be able to figure out how to handle 
the exception as an exception without losing the benefit of the general 
rule that ASF is ASL.


Staff Counsel, IBM Corporation  (914)766-1757  (tie)8-826  (fax) -8160
(notes) jthom@ibmus  (internet) jthom@us.ibm.com (home) jeff@beff.net
(web) http://www.beff.net/ 

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