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From Eric McDonald <the.eric.mcdon...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: License under which the Apache License 2.0 is released?
Date Sat, 29 Sep 2012 21:11:58 GMT
On 9/29/2012 3:15 PM, Daniel Shahaf wrote:
> Eric McDonald wrote on Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 13:15:05 -0400:
>> The short of my question is this: suppose that someone mostly likes the
>> Apache License 2.0, but has a few tweaks that he or she wishes to make
>> to it. Would that person be able to create a derivative work from the
>> license, and, if so, under what conditions? (Note: I understand that
> I imagine that one of the terms will be "Don't call the modified thing
> 'Apache License'" (ie, same terms as the license itself lays down).

:-) That would seem reasonable. But, actually, it touches upon one of
the hypothetical tweaks. Section 6 of ALv2.0 only covers trademarks,
service marks, trade names, and product names. It does not cover the
names of Contributors as near as I can tell, nor does any other section
of the license.

The BSD 3-clause license has this clause:
"Neither the name of the <organization> nor the names of its
contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from
this software without specific prior written permission."

The CC BY 3.0 license, last sentences of section 4b and section 4c, has
even stronger protections in this regard. (
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode )

Personally, I would be content with an adaptation of the BSD 3-clause
license language. Perhaps something like:
"Neither the Work nor the names of the Contributors may be used to
endorse or promote any redistribution or reproduction of the Work or
Derived Works thereof without specific prior written permission."

> If there is a particular modification you would like to see, feel free
> to suggest it for consideration for inclusion in ALv2.1 :)

(*) One of the more paranoid concerns that might be addressed by a
hypothetical tweak would be the use of the word "files" in Section 4b of
ALv2.0. To me, there is a temptation to introduce a new definition,
"Translation Unit", and then refer to "Translation Units or
logically-separated subdivisions thereof" in place of "files". The
rationale behind this is that source code need not live in files;
various stores, such as relational databases, can also host pieces of
code which can be separately or individually displayed, modified, or
translated by machine and which may constitute part of the Work.

(*) Another paranoid concern to be addressed would be the license
coverage of automatically-generated headers, footers, and other such
items, assemblies of fragments, or instances of templates merged with
data as outputs created by operating the Work according to its intended
use. Perhaps the law already covers this, but I am not certain. Ideally,
one would want two guarantees, I think:
  (-) You would want Licensor to waive all rights to such outputs, which
include parts of the Work inserted by operating the Work according to
its intended use.
  (-) Licensor would want to restrict You from claiming any special
rights to any parts of the Work which could be inserted into such outputs.
  The idea would be to prevent someone from misappropriating, say, a
template, while guaranteeing that a licensor could not claim rights to,
say, a piece of code which was automatically generated by the licensor's

(*) Another tweak would be an explicit provision for separate licensing
(CC BY, for example) of media (icons, images, 3D models, sounds tracks,
documentation, etc...) distributed as part of the work.

Maybe some of the above are non-issues, but if I was going to make a
variant of the Apache License, I would consider addressing them.
Admittedly, they might complicate the license some and dilute its
current elegance....

>> there is some concern about license proliferation in the FOSS licensing
>> community. I am hoping to avoid any debate about this concern that my
>> question may trigger. However, I am happy to discuss what some
>> hypothetical tweaks to the license might be.)
>> Thanks,
>>   Eric
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