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From "Geir Magnusson Jr." <g...@pobox.com>
Subject Re: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects
Date Wed, 03 Jun 2015 10:09:44 GMT

> On Jun 3, 2015, at 5:31 AM, William A Rowe Jr <wrowe@rowe-clan.net> wrote:
> 
> On Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 4:22 AM, Geir Magnusson Jr. <geir@pobox.com <mailto:geir@pobox.com>>
wrote:
> 
>> On Jun 3, 2015, at 5:14 AM, William A Rowe Jr <wrowe@rowe-clan.net <mailto:wrowe@rowe-clan.net>>
wrote:
>> 
>> On Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 4:09 AM, Geir Magnusson Jr. <geir@pobox.com <mailto:geir@pobox.com>>
wrote:
>> As a bystander, I'm confused.
>> 
>> My understanding is that the patent language in the AL is designed to moot the need
for this kind of discussion.
>> 
>> Keeping it short, contributors provide a patent license for *any* of their patents
held by those contributors that would be infringed.
>> 
>> Why would we even want to try to get an enumerated list correct up front (and maintain
it)?
>> 
>> geir
>> 
>> Thanks Gier,
>> 
>> that's exactly why I'm conflicted...
>> 
>> we don't enumerate copyright contributions.  Why should we need to enumerate patent
contributions?
>> 
>> I can counter this with the fact that every commit message had better provide appropriate
authorship attribution [although, you can't clarify from the commit whether the committer
or their employer owns the copyright to the commit, granted.]
> 
> Each contributor warrants via the ICLA that they have the right to provide the contribution
under the Apache License.  They could be lying, but that's a different problem to solve.
> 
>> 
>> There is no such transparent vehicle for patents.  What would you (or others) suggest?
  
> 
> My non-lawyer understanding is that I think there is one, and it's the same vehicle.
 Each contributor warrants ability to contribute under the Apache License, which provides
both copyright and patent license.
> 
> Suggest for what?  The "Disclosure of patents" problem?  I don't understand why it is
a problem at all, for us or anyone else (users, other FLOSS communities, etc).
> 
> I'm neither a lawyer nor pretending to be one.  I'm only asking about provenance... every
commit message better explain who authored the code/claimed copyright at the time it was committed.
 We do not seem to be as good at explaining patents that coincide with said code.

My understanding of the AL is that we don't need to be explicit.  If the author of the code
has patents that matter, they are providing a license and they can't sue you.  

geir



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