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From John Owens <john_ow...@yahoo.com>
Subject apache license 2.0: having trouble getting our university licensing office to like it, your thoughts?
Date Tue, 30 Jun 2009 01:42:09 GMT

Howdy, I'm a professor at an unnamed campus of the University of
California and lead an open-source project. The project is currently
licensed under a modified BSD license (that has a couple of extra
clauses from plain BSD). We would like to move the project to Google
Code and use Apache 2.0 to license it there (our industrial
collaborator prefers Apache 2.0). Our licensing office at my campus
does not like Apache (but would allow us to use BSD or another license
that does not have the patent clause) and I was hoping to get your
guidance / advice / thoughts on the difficulty I'm having.

The specific problem that our office has is the patent clause. The
difficulty appears to be that our office does not like "giving away"
the patent rights of its inventors. We were discussing both the GPL3
and Apache which have similar patent clauses and an attorney from our
office said: "I believe the GPL potentially violates the UC Patent
Policy (both the programmers and those who distribute), and the UCOP
legal folks that I've been able to get to think about it think they
agree, though no one has asked them for a formal legal opinion because
no one has been determined to use it."

The difficulty appears to be that licensing something under Apache
requires giving a patent license (I believe this is accurate; we'd be
licensing any patents we have in the work to anyone who uses our
work), and our attorney is concerned about this; that it is unfair to
the inventors to "give away" their patent rights. 

I would love to hear the thoughts of the list on this, and in
particular if other universities have faced this question and have
thoughts on their use of Apache. Any help you could offer would be
really appreciated.

JDO


      

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