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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: IP Clearance
Date Thu, 28 Jul 2011 23:01:22 GMT
John Cowan wrote:
> Well, not all of us are willing to spend our lives defending against
> lawsuits, be they never so meritless, even if we are ably assisted by
> the likes of Larry Rosen the Brave.  So we walk softly and strive to
> offend nobody.

Let's please avoid naming or nicknaming individuals here. That's not
helpful.

The story we were just told was of an important Apache committer who then
decided he doesn't like Apache any more. He took his/our Apache software and
made changes to it and released new versions under an incompatible license.
So be it. Everyone here has a personality that they are allowed to express.

What the Apache project wants now is clarity that it can take a version of
this software previously licensed to the world under the Apache License, and
re-import it into the Apache project. I cannot comment on the usefulness of
that effort, merely its (1) legality and (2) compatibility with the Apache
Way.

As to legality, we all rely on the fact that open source licenses are
perpetual. Once you release your software under an open source license,
*that software* is free -- in our definition of the word "free". That's the
legal intent of our licenses. There is no crossing your fingers behind your
back and pretending you didn't mean it.

As to compatibility with the Apache Way, I can only speak for myself.
Decisions like this are made collectively by our members and our PMCs. But
my advice would be to rely on the permanence of open source commitments.
People can change their minds about contributing to Apache, but not
retroactively. That gives too much power to the disaffected and cheats our
own members and communities of their reasonable expectations and their
freedom to use free software.

/Larry



> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan@ccil.org] On Behalf Of John Cowan
> Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2011 3:10 PM
> To: Lawrence Rosen
> Cc: license-discuss@opensource.org
> Subject: Re: IP Clearance
> 
> Lawrence Rosen scripsit:
> 
> > Roy, I consider this to be a nice principle but not a good
> > practice. If someone licenses his work to the public under AL2 or a
> > compatible license, I don't care whether he likes ASF or not. He can
> > kick and scream about the unfairness of life, but I'm happy to take
> > his work and do with it as I please under the terms of his license.
> 
> Well, not all of us are willing to spend our lives defending against
> lawsuits, be they never so meritless, even if we are ably assisted by
> the likes of Larry Rosen the Brave.  So we walk softly and strive to
> offend nobody.
> 
> --
> A rabbi whose congregation doesn't want         John Cowan
> to drive him out of town isn't a rabbi,
> http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
> and a rabbi who lets them do it                 cowan@ccil.org
> isn't a man.    --Jewish saying



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