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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject Apache's Third Party Licensing Policy
Date Tue, 29 Oct 2013 15:17:15 GMT
Dear Apache Members,

 

Certain board members accuse me of using the board@ list unreasonably to
argue that board officers are not acting appropriately regarding certain
legal issues:

 

> Larry is abusing his privilege to interact on this list.  I suggest we 

> all decline to respond further.

 

I will honor their request, but instead I will take this to legal-discuss@
(a public list) and members@ (an internal list). 

 

In particular, I made this request which the Board has refused to respond
to:

I challenge you to find anywhere on our website the written "policy" that
Sam invoked to delay a decision about this and other third party license
issues that I raised in LEGAL-179 /and/ several previous JIRA issues.
"Policy" DOES NOT MEAN "the VP of Legal Affairs decided". You should quit
inventing policy as you go along.

Can anyone else among our members please help us find authority for these
actions by the VP of Legal Affairs? I've never seen that officer's actual
role described, certainly not in any way that would provide written guidance
for the "policy" that he invokes. I'd like to see something consistent with
our mission statement: "The Foundation provides an established framework for
intellectual property...."

 

By the way, I've changed the topic of this thread. After this brouhaha in
Apache, W3C is quietly withdrawing its efforts to experiment with CC-BY.
Their representatives have advised me to give up the fight. :-) Someone must
have won this battle! But Apache keeps losing, because we still refuse all
attempts to lead the FOSS world in defining what our Third Party Licensing
Policy ought to be. Our VP of Legal Affairs insists that the "policy" is to
sit back and wait until a project asks about a license, then approve or
disapprove the license based on ad hoc rules but no intelligible written
principles or guidelines. 

 

For those of you who have written me publicly or privately begging me to
stop bothering you about this topic because you want to get back to
programming, sorry but no. Next year will mark my 20th year as an attorney
working in support of FOSS. I assume that my leadership on these issues was
why I was elected as a member of The Apache Software Foundation in the first
place. Telling me to shut up about intellectual property issues of open
source and open standards is like cheating me of oxygen. I won't let it
happen.

 

/Larry

 

P.S. I recognize that I won't get many /public/ statements of support for
this email. But please, those of you who have the courage to do so, please
write me privately with your comments. Pro or con, it will help me resist
this plea from board members that I should "shut up" about legal issues.

 

Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm ( <http://www.rosenlaw.com/>
www.rosenlaw.com)

3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482

Office: 707-485-1242

Linkedin profile:  <http://linkd.in/XXpHyu> http://linkd.in/XXpHyu 

 


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