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From David Blevins <david.blev...@visi.com>
Subject Re: Some questions about the licence agreement
Date Mon, 23 Jun 2008 21:25:39 GMT
Hi Jean-Francois,

Great to see you guys participating.  You're off to a great start.

No need to apologize for the boring legal questions, it's good to be  
thorough.  We have a list for them (Cc'ed) which is a great resource  
for these kinds of questions.  As an fyi, there's a second list legal- 
internal AT apache.org if you happen to have any legal questions or  
issues of a private or sensitive nature.

I'll give the questions a shot, hopefully others can chime in and  
clarify or verify.

On Jun 23, 2008, at 2:27 AM, James Jean-francois wrote:

> Hi David,
>
> In accordance with our previous discussions, we've initialized the  
> process to become OpenEJB contributors (AtosWorldline as corporate  
> entity + 2 people from my team as individual contributors).
>
> We've submitted the License Agreement forms to our legal department  
> for validation and they need some explanations about the "Grant of  
> Patent License" paragraph (number 3).
>
> First of all, considering the that the "Work" stands for "the   
> products owned and managed by the Foundation", why do we need to  
> grant a Patent License on it ? We are not owner of it …

The Patent License refers to your Contributions to the Work.  For  
example let's say you have a Patent on "hot deploy" and you contribute  
some code to OpenEJB (the Work) that adds "hot deploy" functionality.   
You are required to grant the ASF and anyone downstream from the ASF a  
License to use "hot deploy" as part of that Contribution.

> What is the meaning of "offer to seel, sell" ? Does it mean that the  
> foundation can decide at one point to sell OpenEJB as a commercial  
> product ?

No. The ASF could never do that without violating the charter under  
which it was granted non-profit status as a corporation.  That string  
of profit-oriented verbs is directed mostly at "recipients of software  
distributed by the Foundation" who are entitled by terms of the ASL  
2.0 to incorporate software distributed by the Foundation into their  
own proprietary or for-profit software.

Going with out "hot deploy" example again, let's say company ABC is  
using and distributing OpenEJB in their WebFish App Server.  The  
company ABC and their customers of WebFish are protected as  
"recipients of software distributed by the Foundation" and Granted  
Patent License by You to use "hot deploy."

> The second part of the sentence "where such license applies … was  
> submitted." is totally unclear to us. Can you elaborate a little on  
> it?

Meaning that Patent License is only Granted by You for Patents that  
pertain to your Contribution, in this case your fictional "hot deploy"  
Patent.  If you had a Patent on "patting your head and rubbing your  
stomach" or "chewing gum and walking" they would not be part of the  
Grant.

> Sorry for this boring questions (at least for IT guy like me!), I'd  
> rather speak about technical stuff with you but I need to give a  
> clear explanantion to my legal department.

No problem.

-David


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