APSL 1.1 available for comment.

Ean R . Schuessler ean at novare.net
Tue Apr 20 03:04:14 UTC 1999

First off, I'm not a lawyer and have no idea what I'm talking about.

With that out of the way... What I would like a better understanding of
is Apple's desire to cross the wires of their copyright agreement and any
patent agreements that might be related. I think that this is a core source
of contention. I think that the general fear is that there may be some
patent that comes into play in a piece of APSL source code and a given
party will never have a chance to address the issue of patent infringement,
or lack thereof, in court because Apple decides to role over and play dead
on some given patent. There may be some other party that is willing to
address the patent suit where Apple wasn't (for reasons of return on
investment or otherwise) and they will never be in a position to do so
because their copyrights on the source code will have expired due to the
patent litigation termination clause.

This situation is not so unimaginable. Apple is a very large company and
will surely purchase many technologies that it will eventually lose 
interest in. It is a reasonable expectation that they will release some
of these technologies under the APSL as a last ditch effort to invigorate
them. After that, you may end up with technologies that Apple has little
to no interest in but that are still licensed under the APSL. In this case
it is not unimaginable that Apple would come to some very regrettable and
even absurd out of court settlement on some patent infringment case simply
because they couldn't care less about the technology in question. This,
however, will be little consolation to the poor saps who have sweated
many heartbreaking hours trying to improve the source base as a hobby.

Handwriting recognition is just one example that springs to mind.

On Mon, Apr 19, 1999 at 06:25:59PM -0700, Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> Remember that a license is the "source code" to the relationship between
> you and the licensor.  There is another relationship involved here
> sometimes, and that is the relationship between a patent holder and each
> of the other two parties.  It seems to me that the language you find
> objectionable is language necessary to help protect Apple from the patent
> holder.  There is no language that could be provided in a license that
> shields you, the licensee, from the patent holder without violating US
> law.

Ean Schuessler                                             As above
Novare International Inc.                                  so below
--- Some or all of the above signature may be a joke

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