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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: New versions of CC licenses
Date Sat, 07 Dec 2013 17:57:28 GMT
Sam Ruby quoted from a blog post:

> To drive the point home: there is a one-way compatibility between the Apache License,
Version 2, and [L]GPLv3, in that one can take code under ALv2, create a derivative work, and
distribute that work under the terms of [L]GPLv3.  The reverse is not true.

In Apache's typical projects where CC-BY might be relevant, we're not creating what anyone
would call a "derivative work" of the CC-BY work. (Even if we did create such a derivative
work of the CC-BY work, that is also allowed without infecting any other work!) And so the
above naive statement about "one-way compatibility" (which is naive because it overstates
the reverse situation) has nothing whatsoever to do with the inclusion of (e.g.) a CC-BY icon
in an Apache project. 

 

As I read our Apache License 2.0 and CC-BY 4.0, absolutely nothing would prevent IBM or LibreOffice
or anyone else from combining such Apache software into their commercial or FOSS products.
As you point out, this "is intentional and by design."  OTOH, absolutely nothing would absolve
them from responsibility to comply with the terms of Apache License 2.0, namely: "You must
give any other recipients of the Work or Derivative Works a copy of this License; and...."
And when they read in our NOTICE file that we have included a CC-BY contribution (which satisfies
the CC-BY notice requirements, by the way), they can decide for themselves if that is compatible
with their own outbound licenses.

 

/Larry

 

 

From: Sam Ruby [mailto:rubys@intertwingly.net] 
Sent: Saturday, December 07, 2013 9:21 AM
To: Legal Discuss; Lawrence Rosen
Subject: Re: New versions of CC licenses

 

On Sat, Dec 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:

Sam, thanks for finding that blog post [1]. Here's the final sentence of that post:

 

For the advantage of all users, I encourage everyone interested in working on the OpenOffice
codebase to draw his own conclusions. Mine are clear; help us at Apache or be so kind to release
it on Apache, too. That's the way to reach the broadest possible user base for your feature.
A lot of users will thank you for it :-)

 

I am delighted to read this. The notion that our contributors would also want to cooperate
with other non-Apache projects by contributing to both is one of the blessings of the open
source development paradigm.  And because /that contributor/ gave /his contribution/ to /both/
Apache and LibreOffice, there is no license incompatibility for us or LibreOffice to worry
about. This situation is simple to analyze and has nothing to do with the issue we're now
debating.

 

An excerpt from the blog post showing the relevance to this discussion:


It shows the flow of source between Apache OpenOffice and projects based on the general OpenOffice
codebase thanks to the permissive Apache 2 License (ALv2 <http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.html>
). I added my stuff to Apache with the goal to get it into all OpenOffice derivatives, and
that's exactly what ALv2 allows, as this example shows.

To drive the point home: there is a one-way compatibility between the Apache License, Version
2, and [L]GPLv3, in that one can take code under ALv2, create a derivative work, and distribute
that work under the terms of [L]GPLv3.  The reverse is not true.

The GPL set of licenses are in no way unique in this regard.  The same thing is true for the
latest version of the Mozilla public license.  And for a number of proprietary licenses.

My point is that this isn't considered unfortunate by the Apache Software Foundation, it is
intentional and by design.

And the third party licensing policy is a part of that.  Originally developed by Cliff, it
categories licenses based on their affect on the ability of our licensees to make use of our
work.

 

Note also that this blog post isn't an official Apache announcement that our Apache License
can be ignored by LibreOffice.

 

I beg you, please stop the use of straw mans.  Absolutely nobody has suggested that.

The point is that it is quite possible for third parties to comply with the terms of our license
and distribute the results under different terms, and that the Apache Software Foundation
is entirely OK with that.

 

- Sam Ruby


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