To: European Legal Network


Some of you know that I am an elected member of The Apache Software Foundation and a previous member of its Board of Directors, but please remember that I do not represent them as an attorney or otherwise. What I say in this and subsequent emails here is merely public information copied from a publicly archived email list at Apache,, and my own words and thoughts. Apache is not responsible for, nor will many of its members appreciate, what I write here.


The Apache Software Foundation is a precious public resource that plays an important role in the FOSS ecosystem. Under a very permissive open source license, we publish lots of very valuable software that others can use, modify, and incorporate freely into their own software.


Apache is a publisher of software, but we don’t write most of it ourselves. We collect and compile contributions from third parties – our worldwide community of members and contributors – and then publish those collections and compilations as “Apache” projects.


Internally to the Foundation, I continue to raise important (to me) questions about Apache policies and procedures relating to those third party contributions. But many of you third parties aren’t yourselves paying much attention to those discussions. I’m getting feedback from a very narrow group of my fellow members, mostly non-lawyers. This is valuable input, of course, but it reminds me sometimes of being in the inner circle at a political rally; that isn’t really the best place to view the entire political arena.


So I’m bringing some of those Apache public discussions here to this list, where I can share my pain with my fellow lawyers around the world. But mostly, I want to get legal feedback from others’ perspectives.


I’ll be sending messages to this list from time to time (3 of them in the next few hours). They describe legal issues that relate to third party contributions to Apache. I will welcome your feedback. I’ll share your emails within Apache *only* if you allow me to do so (on a message-by-message basis, in accordance with our privacy rules on this list).


Or better still, you can just subscribe to and join the public conversations yourself. We use JIRA for issue tracking. My collection of issues is JIRA LEGAL-168, but other JIRA LEGAL- issues may interest you if you are one of the millions of people or companies or governments around the world who contribute to and benefit from Apache software. Feel free to sign up. The public archives are here:


Best regards,




[This specific email may be freely copied]


bcc: [will not receive future emails]

bcc: Apache Board of Directors [will not receive future emails]


Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (

3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482

Office: 707-485-1242

Linkedin profile: