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From "Roy T. Fielding" <field...@gbiv.com>
Subject Re: AL's patent license in the context of derivative works
Date Fri, 04 Apr 2008 01:55:12 GMT
On Apr 3, 2008, at 2:36 PM, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
> I'm confused for a bunch of reasons, including the apparent  
> difference between the CLA's patent grant and the AL's patent grant  
> with respect to the ASF as a named recipient of the grant. The CLA  
> has the ASF as a recipient of the patent grant, but the AL  
> doesn't.  So if the contributor hasn't signed the CLA, how can it  
> be that the "ASF has a patent license"?

They contributed to the ASF.  The ASF is therefore the recipient of  
the AL
covered work.

> Putting that aside, my question isn't about the ASF - I'm  
> comfortable with the notion that the project to which the  
> contribution was contributed to benefits from the patent grant as  
> there's clarity regarding the notion of Work inherent in the  
> license, and if the contribution was made by someone that signed  
> the CLA, that any project of the foundation benefits from the  
> patent grant.
>
> My question is what can a third party - say my brother making  
> sequential derivative works - depend on as to the patent license  
> for whatever derivative work they make from the original Work.
>
> Imagine a non-CLA-signing Contributor that owns patent P makes a  
> contribution to Apache Foo such that the new Apache Foo reads on  
> P.  Because of the Apache License, users  of Apache Foo don't have  
> to worry about patent litigation related to P  by Contributor for  
> using Apache Foo.

There are many other possibilities.  Because the ASF is an open  
source foundation,
and the contributor knows that, they are knowingly giving up  
exclusive control
over the patents.  That is relevant to any subsequent lawsuits.

> Now, my bother takes Apache Foo and starts a google code project  
> based on it called "Bar".  Do users of Bar  have to worry about  
> patent litigation related to P by Contributor for using Bar which  
> is a derivative work of Apache Foo?

Everyone has to worry about patent litigation, even if they have a  
signed
document in hand.  That's why all open source projects should be  
incorporated
or part of a corporation like ISOC.

> If that's the case, then why do we constrain http://www.apache.org/ 
> foundation/licence-FAQ.html#PatentScope the last sentence of the  
> answer to Q3 to
>
>   "....any software distributed by the ASF for any Apache software  
> product whatsoever."
>
> rather than something more open and broad such as
>
>   "... any software distributed by the ASF for any Apache software  
> product  and any derivative work thereof, whatsoever"

Because "derivative work" is irrelevant to the topic.

....Roy


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