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From John Cowan <co...@mercury.ccil.org>
Subject Re: IP Clearance
Date Fri, 29 Jul 2011 03:17:24 GMT
Lawrence Rosen scripsit:

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

I meant no offense.  But I applied the epithet sincerely.

> 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.

I'm sure we all hope so.  But we won't really know until someone
gives proper notice that a license is revoked and tries to sue for
infringement.  If I got such a notice and wasn't using the software, I
certainly wouldn't start.  If I were already distributing it or modified
versions, I might be able to argue promissory estoppel, but it would be
shaky.

-- 
John Cowan           http://www.ccil.org/~cowan            cowan@ccil.org
One of the oil men in heaven started a rumor of a gusher down in hell.  All
the other oil men left in a hurry for hell.  As he gets to thinking about
the rumor he had started he says to himself there might be something in
it after all.  So he leaves for hell in a hurry.    --Carl Sandburg

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