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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@apache.org>
Subject Apache license 2.1 and 2.2?
Date Fri, 30 Mar 2007 10:07:45 GMT
I'm just reading the "Open Source Collaboration in Higher Education"
report published on March 21st 2007 [1]. It raises some questions for me
with respect to the Apache License.

On page 2 it states:

"3. The ECL 2.0 created as a product of the Summit is an evolution of
the Apache license, not the original ECL. There was considerable
interest in the Apache licenses to further consistency among open source
projects, but it could not be fully supported for universities because
its patent license was considered too broad (some universities could not
by policy agree to such broad language). One question asked was whether
there is value in having a separate license for higher education. The
answer was no at this time, but that any existing license must meet the
needs of higher education for broad adoption to occur.

4. The new ECL contains Apache 2.1 language with necessary modifications
for colleges and universities. The hope is that the ECL 2.0 and Apache
2.1 can ultimately be merged."

These statements are accompanied by a little diagram that implies (even
indicates depending on the readers interpretation) that around Spring
2007 there will be an ECL 2.0 and an AL 2.1, then in "late 2007" there
will be a single "AL 2.2".

Later the report states:

"A group of higher education representatives will work with
Apache, which was represented at the Summit, to inform the work on the
next version of the Apache license and the hope is that the license that
emerges will be well-suited to the needs of higher education."

I note that Chris Schmidt was at the summit which drew up these plans,
as was my boss here at OSS Watch in the UK. I've discussed these issues
with my boss whilst wearing my OSS Watch hat since one of the things we
do is advise UK HE with respect to license choice.

Now I'd like to put on my ASF hat (whilst still wearing my OSS Watch
hat). Just how realistic is the plan outlined in this report? That is,
are we going to haev an AL2.1 in Spring 2007 and an AL2.2 in Late 2007?

The report seems to imply that the changes needed to the Apache Licence
are not hugely significant with respect to its existing use and are only
necessary for the special case of HE in the USA, but I still wonder if
anything in the legal domain can really be that simple ;-)



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