www-legal-discuss mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "Sam Ruby" <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Move Overview, Category X and transition examples (a.k.a. exceptions) to resolved
Date Fri, 06 Jun 2008 02:54:21 GMT
Specifically, I'm talking about moving

... while striking the words "transition and" from the text.

I'm open to wordsmithing suggestions, but the ideas expressed below
seem uncontroversial and have withstood the test of time.  There
clearly will need to be text added to introduce the term "Category B",
and I'm inclined to expand the scope of that category from "reciprocal
licenses" to something that conveys the notion of licenses where
approval is contingent on usage.  Perhaps someday LGPL could be moved
into such a category.  I, for example, am untroubled by purely
optional dependencies on LGPL code.

For convenience, I'm including the text in question below:

- - - -

 Software License Criteria

The following criteria serve to fulfill the first two guiding
principles of this policy, as described above.

   1. The license must meet the Open Source Definition.
   2. The license must not place restrictions on the distribution of
independent works that simply use or contain the covered work.
   3. The license must not place restrictions on the distribution of
larger works, other than to require that the covered component still
complies with the conditions of its license.

In addition to these requirements, if the license requires any degree
of reciprocity, the ASF distribution must be prominently labeled to
indicate the inclusion of software under reciprocal terms.

- - - -

Category X: Excluded Licenses

The following licenses must not apply to any software within an Apache
product, whether in source or binary form. See Options for Prohibited
Works for applicability to system requirements or optional works
distributed elsewhere.

    * BCL*
    * Special exceptions to the GNU GPL (e.g. GNU Classpath)*
    * GNU GPL
    * GNU LGPL*
    * NPL 1.0 and NPL 1.1*
    * QPL
    * Sleepycat License

* see discussion of this in <del>Transition and</del> Exceptions

- - - -


 Applicability to excluded licenses used today (or licenses that have
been considered for use)


The Binary Code License falls far short of the Open Source Definition,
thereby violating the first criterion for license approval. All
BCL-licensed works currently included in ASF products must be removed
before the earlier of one year or two major releases (see the General
Rule above). PMCs with BCL-licensed works are encouraged to use this
time to request copyright owners of such works to consider also
licensing under an authorized license (Category A or Category B), such
as the CDDL. Another option for some products may be to move the
BCL-licensed work to a system requirement that is not included in the

The NPL is simply the MPL (which is allowed under Category B) plus
amendments that are specific to Netscape. Unfortunately, these
amendments allow "Netscape" (now part of Time Warner) to avoid the
reciprocity requirement that all other licensees must adhere to. This
disqualifies the license from meeting Open Source Definition #5 ("No
Discrimination Against Persons or Groups"). While this is a clear
violation of the first license criterion, it is unlikely to be a
significant practical concern for users of Apache products that
include an NPL binary. Therefore, the NPL is currently listed as an
excluded license, but this exclusion will be reevaluated in six
XML and Text Configuration files under Category B licenses

The current license policy only allows source files to be included
under a Category A license, not a Category B license (binary only).
Therefore, XML and text files covered by a Category B license cannot
be included in an Apache product. Whether this places a significant
burden on PMCs will be reevaluated in six months.
JavaScript/ECMAScript libraries under Category B licenses

As AJAX-related functionality becomes more popular, there may be a
demand for JavaScript libraries, which are only available in source
form. The current license policy allows such code to be included when
covered by a Category A license (authorized for source and binary),
but not a Category B license (binary only). Whether there is an
overwhelming need for such Category B-licensed JavaScript libraries to
be included in the product will be reevaluated in six months.

The LGPL v2.1 is ineligible from being a Category B license (a
category that includes the MPL, CPL, EPL, and CDDL) primarily due to
the restrictions it places on larger works, violating the third
license criterion. Therefore, LGPL v2.1-licensed works must not be
included in Apache products, although they may be listed as system
requirements or distributed elsewhere as optional works.
Special exceptions to the GNU GPL

Some copyright holders have licensed their works under the GPL with
special exceptions. Although these exceptions may appear to be
addressing the restrictions disallowed by the ASF's first and second
license criteria, the exceptions may only apply to software not
"derived from or based on" the covered work. The references terms
defined in the GPL that include works that "use" or "contain" the
work. Therefore, software under these exceptions is generally not
allowed for inclusion within an Apache product. PMCs may, however,
choose to allow such works to be system requirements of an Apache
product, provided a review by the ASF Legal Affairs officer and PMC
chair determine no part of the product is copied from or derived from
the GPL/exception-licensed work other than what is strictly required
to achieve compatibility. See details for inclusions within the
product that are related to excluded licenses.

- Sam Ruby

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

View raw message