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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Proposal: Apache Third Party License Policy
Date Tue, 19 May 2015 23:56:40 GMT
William Rowe said:
> I suspect we are wearing very different pairs of glasses.

 

I have a zoom feature that allows me to read your words carefully. 

 

Referring back to my own list of five freedoms for FOSS software, these are valid without
exception for EVERY OSI-approved license.

1.     Use FOSS software for any purpose.

2.     Make and distribute copies.

3.     Create and distribute derivative works.

4.     Access and use the source code.

5.     Combine FOSS and other software.

The words I wrote here more than 10 years ago were very carefully chosen so they could be
individually described under copyright law without ambiguity. (Even RMS agreed with numbers
1 through 4, but you have long heard his objections to number 5!)  

 

So please don't casually combine number 1 and number 3 under the word "use".  

 

Like number 1, freedom 3 is universal for every FOSS license. But some licensors also require
for their original works that derivative works be distributed under the same license as the
original. That's merely reciprocity for that derivative work and it isn't difficult. It isn't
viral. It has nothing to do with "use" of the software as such. In fact, "use" can become
a new problem: When a derivative work infringes new patent claims, watch out! 

 

The FOSS culture honors licensors' choices. We see nothing evil about requiring developers
to cooperate with the original FOSS project to reciprocate with their derivative works, even
though ALv2 software itself isn't like that. There are lots of reciprocal licenses and lots
of such FOSS software that any Apache project should be free use and/or create derivative
works.

 

We all here probably understand by now that what I'm proposing is different from the way that
ASF previously operated. But this new policy would allow Apache projects to aggregate any
FOSS software whenever they need it. 

 

Wouldn't anyone here benefit from that even though they would have to reciprocate for some
of their derivative works?

 

I very much liked your concluding paragraphs (although I reserve comments about the word "dependencies")
and I repeat them here:

 

If we pause in the debate long enough to identify what it is that the ASF creates as its intrinsic
goal - software that can be used - including the use case of modifying or creating a derivative
- without additional burdens - then that intrinsic goal truly applies only to "our own source
code".  The first question at AOO seemed to be whether some LGPL, or even GPL, or various
CCby licensed components or elements could be combined with the ASF's "code" and then "packaged"
by the ASF?  I don't have a fear of this, in fact it is a nice service to our "users", to
use your definition of the term.  Someone who does not want to combine the ASF's "code" with
things we have packaged it with should never be required to do so in order to make our code
do something useful, IMHO.  This came up before - with absolute dependencies on ffmpeg by
a project, and we rejected that case.  Projects requiring reciprocal components are not really
a good fit at the ASF.  Projects optionally using reciprocal components seem to me to be a
terrific thing.  If the ASF does not create and maintain a reference work or drop-in optional
component, why shouldn't we help our users to take advantage of these, going so far as to
"package" such components in our own publication?  The "release" of these components is not
here, it's elsewhere, and it is up to those elsewhere at those component projects to make
their decisions about licensing, for their own project's interests.

 

This preserves both the founder's intentions here at the ASF, respects the autonomy of licensing
decisions by projects external to the ASF, and offers projects more flexibility to interact
with the worlds of reciprocal and non-reciprocal licensed OSS code, potentially even some
non-OSF approved licenses after due diligence.

 

 

 

From: William A Rowe Jr [mailto:wrowe@rowe-clan.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 3:43 PM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org; Lawrence Rosen
Subject: Re: Proposal: Apache Third Party License Policy

On Sun, May 17, 2015 at 11:27 AM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com <mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
> wrote:

 

"

Everyone everywhere in the world can use this Apache FOO software under Apache License 2.0
<http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.html>  for free. The entire source code
is available at www.apache.org <http://www.apache.org> . If you modify or create a derivative
work of this FOO software and distribute it, read the NOTICE file for other intellectual property
information and for copies of third party open source licenses. Copyright (C) 2015 The Apache
Software Foundation.

"

 

I suspect we are wearing very different pairs of glasses.

[<LER>] <snip>

 


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