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From Ted Dunning <ted.dunn...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Proposal: Apache Third Party License Policy
Date Mon, 11 May 2015 10:19:24 GMT
Frankly, in working with commercial adopters of Apache software, one of the
strongest arguments for the use of Apache licensed software is the current
policy of not including or requiring GPL and similarly licensed
dependencies.  Degrading this to a project by project decision would make
it much harder for developers to get approval for incorporating Apache
software into products.  The dialog would change from "Apache handles
things for us" to "we have to examine everything from Apache in minute
detail just like any project on github".

In my strongly held opinion, this substantially impairs the ability of
Apache to do what it set out to do.

No matter which way the subtle legal points ought to be interpreted, the
merest fact of debate about these points will simply cause business
decision makers to push off.  Doubt about matters like this is highly

The key point is that, practically speaking, this corrosion makes the
adoption of Apache software much harder and that makes Apache software far
less valuable.

On Mon, May 11, 2015 at 11:06 AM, Branko ─îibej <brane@apache.org> wrote:

>  Hi Larry,
> You posted a draft license policy for the ASF that would, in my opinion
> (and probably in the opinion of those who wrote it and those who use it),
> encourage ASF projects to violate one of the most widespread licenses used
> in the open source world. When I pointed that out, you basically said not
> to worry ("be afraid") because you're already looking for loopholes in the
> license.
> This is not about fear of the GPL but about respect for others' wishes and
> intent. Regardless of whether there is or is not such a loophole, the
> intent of the GPL, as described on innumerable occasions by the FSF, has
> always been crystal clear, and far as I'm concerned, so has the wording. It
> is IMO against the ASF's published goals to define policy by actively
> looking for ways to circumvent the provisions of this or that license;
> that's totally against the spirit of FLOSS and our proclaimed "public good"
> mandate.
> FWIW, I've not been trying to "dictate" anything to you. I'm just pointing
> out what I think is a fatal flaw in your proposal. If you actually have an
> interest in discussing things, you could start by not sidestepping my
> questions and telling me how copyright attorneys already have undermining
> the GPL well in hand. All this kind of response does is support the
> stereotype that lawyers have no respect for anything but their own high
> opinion of themselves.
> One more thing I have to respond to before I leave this conversation:
>  But don't rely on the DRAFT Apache Third Party License Policy to prevent the rest of
us from doing what we find technically useful when our PMCs agree to it and we document it
in our NOTICE file.
> 1. As far as I'm aware, there is no "DRAFT" Apache Third Party License
> Policy. There is an existing ASF policy, and there's your draft proposal
> for a different policy (which, being a proposal, is indeed irrelevant to
> PMC decisions).
> 2. I do expect that all PMCs follow published ASF policy. ASF projects
> should follow ASF rules; if they find them too limiting, they're always
> free to set up somewhere else.
> -- Brane

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