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From Marvin Humphrey <mar...@rectangular.com>
Subject Re: Serious problem with the Apache Contributor's License Agreement (CLA) v2.0
Date Sun, 15 Sep 2013 15:21:35 GMT
On Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 5:55 AM, Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com> wrote:
> Disclaimer: I haven't had my coffee yet.

Duly noted.

> K, well then are you an agent of the ASF who is authorized to make
> authoritative legal interpretations of the intent/meaning of Apache's legal
> documents?

This is just a discussion list.  We try to avoid providing any commentary
here which could be construed as authoritative.

> I'm looking for a straight answer from an authorized agent of the ASF to
> this question:
>
> If the ASF does not intend to allow for the evil interpretation of their ALs
> as described in these emails, then will the ASF make this clear within the
> text of the ALs themselves? If not, what is the reason for the refusal to
> add the clarification?

This isn't a new issue -- we even have an FAQ entry which addresses your exact
concern.  Nothing has been brought to our attention which we haven't already
known about for years, and the response that was drafted years ago has not
caused any problems since.

An ambiguity in a license (such as whether "Work" can be extended in the
future to encompass any and all patents -- past, present and future) is not
like an exploitable vulnerability in software.  A computer will blithely
follow an absurd instruction because it can't understand your intent.  A
judge, however, when faced with technically ambiguous wording, may weigh the
obvious, commonly understood interpretation against an absurd, unlikely
interpretation with wildly harmful consequences when deciding how to rule.

In my opinion, we have not been provided with sufficient evidence to justify
revisiting our past response.

Marvin Humphrey

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