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From David Jencks <david_jen...@yahoo.com.INVALID>
Subject Re: Proposal: Disclosure of patents by Apache projects
Date Wed, 03 Jun 2015 21:06:27 GMT
I think Marks concerns should be taken quite seriously.

david jencks

On Jun 3, 2015, at 10:42 AM, Mark Thomas <markt@apache.org> wrote:

> On 03/06/2015 14:38, William A Rowe Jr wrote:
>> On Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 7:59 AM, Shane Curcuru <asf@shanecurcuru.org
>> <mailto:asf@shanecurcuru.org>> wrote:
>>    On 6/3/15 8:44 AM, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
>>> But what's the point of any of this?  There's no reason to require Sneaky Author
to enumerate anything because via contribution via the AL, they have granted a license to
anything they have necessarily infringed by the contribution (or combined contribution and
existing work)
>>> And I as the recipient don't really care - I know that via the patent grant in
the AL, Sneaky Author can't come after me for any patents they hold (enumerated or not) that
read on the work they contributed to.
>>> Is there a real problem we're trying to solve?
>>    I'm not aware of any Apache project asking this question, no.  It seems
>>    Bill might have a case related to this thread, which we can address when
>>    it comes up.
>> Indeed, there is no sneaky author.  The patents are public filings.  No 
>> need for tinfoil hats or detection gadgets.  Those patent use rights are 
>> granted, by the very design of the AL, to every downstream consumer.
>> Apparently, none of you spend too much time with your corp-consumer
>> legal teams.  It's brutal.
>> Pretty much everything out there, IP-wise, bollixes the works.  Stray
>> non-conforming license?  That's out.  Stray patent claim?  Straight out.
>> So yes, there is a project which is trying to offer code-with-patent-license
>> to the ASF, and has succeeded at their CCLA plus CLAs and would like
>> to wokr out the best way to inform / reassure users that these particular
>> patent claims are known to apply and are granted for use to whatever
>> downstream consumer wants to use the code.
> <full-disclosure>
> The corp in question is my employer.
> These are my opinions not my employers.
> </full-disclosure>
> I appreciate that the corp in question is trying to do the right thing.
> I would argue - based on our experience of adding the "I grant this
> patch under the ALv2" button to Jira - that doing anything over any
> beyond that which is required by our existing CLA and CCLA process will
> cause us more problems in the long run than it solves.
> By granting this code to the ASF under the ALv2 any and all necessary
> patent licenses are granted. That is the only thing that needs to be
> said publicly and - in my view - the only thing that should be said
> publicly. There is no problem here that needs to be solved.
> If the corp wants to provide the PMC (privately) with a list of patents
> it thinks it has licensed then fine but I don't see how making that list
> public helps anyone.
> The potential issues I see with making the list public include:
> - projects that don't publish a list of licensed patents start being
>  asked by users to produce one
> - projects that do publish a list start being asked about XYZ patent
>  that a random user things might apply to the project
> - committers start being asked to explicitly state if each commit is
>  covered by a patent or not
> If we could guarantee that - for each project - we could produce a
> complete list of licensed patents then I'd have far fewer concerns. But
> I do not believe we can do that. Further, I believe that publishing
> incomplete lists will create the perception of problems where none
> exists given the clear and unambiguous language that is already present
> in the ALv2 with respect to patents.
> Mark
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