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From Chris Mattmann <mattm...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Serious problem with the Apache Contributor's License Agreement (CLA) v2.0
Date Sun, 15 Sep 2013 02:42:43 GMT
Hi Greg,


-----Original Message-----
From: Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com>
Reply-To: <legal-discuss@apache.org>
Date: Saturday, September 14, 2013 7:31 PM
To: <legal-discuss@apache.org>
Subject: Re: Serious problem with the Apache Contributor's License
Agreement (CLA) v2.0

>Hi Marvin,
>
>Thanks for your reply!

And thanks for your emails.

>[..snip..]
>
>
>
>Note, however, that licensable patent claims include those that you
>acquire in the
>future, as long as they read on your original contribution as made at the
>original time.
>
>
>
>This sentence is rather unclear to me. It sounds like what it's intending
>to say is that you grant a license to any future patent claims you make
>should they be based on "your original contribution"? If so, how,
>exactly, must they be "based on" it?

Probably in the legal definition either of a collective work (something
that incorporates your
licensed work or contribution, but in a "black box" way, by not changing
it); or a derivative
work (something that incorporates your licensed work by taking it and
directly modifying it
in some fashion). That would be my read on it. IANAL.

>
>Also, this FAQ is not in any way referenced in the agreement that is
>actually signed, so I don't see how it is relevant to the discussion.

It's relevant in that the ICLA is a part of the ASF, as is the FAQ that is
part of the
legal documentation of the ASF.

Further, http://www.apache.org/licenses/ is referenced in the ICLA, and
thus
so is the FAQ page [linked from the prior page] and thus
so is the http://www.apache.org/foundation/license-faq.html page [linked
from the prior page]

Cheers,
Chris



>
>Kind regards,
>Greg Slepak
>
>--
>
>Please do not email me anything that you are not comfortable also sharing
>with the NSA.
>
>
>On Sep 14, 2013, at 9:56 PM, Marvin Humphrey <marvin@rectangular.com>
>wrote:
>
>
>On Sat, Sep 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM, Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com> wrote:
>
>I recently finished a rather long exchange with Numenta, Inc. on a matter
>related to a paragraph taken from the Apache CLA v2.0.
>
>
>
>For what it's worth, similar language exists in the Apache License 2.0.
>
>[..] it appears to allow an interpretation that states that I¹m
>potentially
>giving away royalty-free licenses to all the software patent claims I ever
>make should I make a single contribution to NuPIC, whatever it may be.
>
>
>
>If I understand correctly, your concern is that once you've made a single
>contribution under an iCLA (or the ALv2), a malevolent party might
>contribute
>something to the same "Work" at some point in the future which infringes
>against an unrelated patent of yours, unfairly wresting a patent license
>from
>you.
>
>For example:
>
>*   An employee of Apple contributes some documentation to Dr. X's
>open-source
>    cryptography library.
>*   Dr. X subsequently adds a GUI to his cryptography library which
>utilizes
>    "slide to unlock".
>*   Dr. X has obtained a patent license from Apple for "slide to unlock".
>
>Does that illustrate your concern accurately?  If so, I believe that this
>FAQ
>entry is relevant:
>
>    http://www.apache.org/foundation/license-faq.html#PatentScope
>
>    [...]
>
>    The only patent claims that are licensed to the ASF are those you own
>or
>    have the right to license that read on your contribution or on the
>    combination of your contribution with the specific Apache product to
>which
>    you contributed as it existed at the time of your contribution. No
>    additional patent claims become licensed as a result of subsequent
>    combinations of your contribution with any other software. Note,
>however,
>    that licensable patent claims include those that you acquire in the
>    future, as long as they read on your original contribution as made at
>the
>    original time. [...]
>
>Numenta discussed the matter with their legal team and decided to add a
>few
>words to eliminate the dangerous interpretation. They announced this via a
>blog post:
>
>http://numenta.org/blog/2013/09/03/numenta-contributor-license-v1-1.html
>
>
>
>IANAL, but my understanding is that that provision is there to guard
>against
>submarine patents.  I'd be curious whether the change described in that
>blog
>post weakens protections against contributors sneaking in technology for
>which
>patents subsequently "surface" and for which royalties are demanded from
>end
>users.
>
>Marvin Humphrey
>
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