www-legal-discuss mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Doug Cutting <cutt...@apache.org>
Subject Re: CCLA: "by combination" language
Date Wed, 31 May 2006 16:50:45 GMT
Jim Barnett wrote:
> While you may deter some companies that fit this category from making
> contributions, you obviously haven't deterred them all - both BEA and
> IBM are patent holder companies that have made contributions to ASF
> projects despite the apparently unsettled state of this issue.

Yes, but there are other equally large patent holding companies (who I 
don't feel comfortable naming in a public email, they can out 
themselves) who have not signed the CCLA and yet employ large numbers of 
Apache committers.  Why do you feel these companies are not signing the 
CCLA?

> Also, if the interpretation were otherwise, you risk limiting adoption
> of ASF project output, particularly by corporations, for fear that a
> competitor could pollute an ASF project with a contribution that is part
> of a combination patent held by that contributor, and then through
> coaching but not contribution, steer the project's subsequent
> development squarely into the necessary combination patent.

I don't see this, but rather the contrary.  If the interpretation were 
otherwise then you might have fewer companies contributing without CCLAs 
and would reduce the amount of potentially non-freely-licensed patented 
technology in Apache products.  Face it, it is not very difficult to 
slip patented technology into an Apache project without providing a free 
license.  Simply don't sign a CCLA and permit a committer to commit it. 
  A CCLA that more companies actually sign would make it a little harder.

> I think erring on the side of encouraging broadest adoption of project
> output at the expense of not getting as many patent-encumbered corporate
> contributions if the better course overall.

I agree.  But I don't see how the current CCLA encourages broader 
adoption of project output.  To the contrary, I think it encourages 
patent-encumbered corporate contributions, by encouraging companies to 
bypass the CCLA entirely, discouraging broader adoption of project 
output.  I think we agree on the ends, but not yet on the means.

Doug

[ These are my opinions, not those of my employer. ]

---------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: Discussions on this list are informational and educational
only.  Statements made on this list are not privileged, do not
constitute legal advice, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions
and policies of the ASF.  See <http://www.apache.org/licenses/> for
official ASF policies and documents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe, e-mail: legal-discuss-unsubscribe@apache.org
For additional commands, e-mail: legal-discuss-help@apache.org


Mime
View raw message