Apache vs. BSD licenses

Ian Stokes-Rees ijs at decisionsoft.com
Tue Mar 20 12:44:45 UTC 2001

To clarify:

Please refer to the "GPL-Incompatible, Free Software Licenses" section
on the GNU web site at:


Second, my mistake was in wording: We are not going to turn over our
software to Apache, therefore when I say we are considering releasing it
under the Apache License, I mean that we are considering releasing it
under an Apache _style_ license, basically using v1.1 as the template. 
If we were to do this, and subsequent developers were to do the same,
then each developer who redistributed the accumulated code base with new
files and entirely new code which they put under _their_ version of
Apache License, the credits list would grow and grow.

This is my _understanding_ of what happens when people use Apache, and
that it was the major criticism of the original BSD license, hence the
new BSD license.  I fully accept that I may have a misguided impression
of how Apache and Apache style licenses work, hence my posts to this
discussion list.  I would appreciate any clarification.

We do not want there to be run away licenses on the code base we are
distributing.  If we release it under BSD and other people do the same,
then their will only be two licenses: One for Xerces (Apache License),
and one for everything else (BSD).

Finally, it was mentioned that (to quote): "... the Apache licence
(which is *not* the Apache 'Public' licence, btw) ...".  I was under the
impression that the Apache License was, at times, refered to as the
Apache Public License.  The following links somewhat support that claim
(both on apache.org):




Rodent of Unusual Size wrote:
> Ian Stokes-Rees wrote:
> >
> > We are looking at open sourcing a software project and are currently
> > trying to evaluate BSD vs. Apache.  The issue is that our code base
> > includes Xerces-C (XML parser) which is under Apache Public License.
> > The implication, then, is that for both subsequent source and binary
> > distributions there is the requirement to a) include the APL (this
> > makes sense and isn't a problem), and b) include credits in binary
> > only distributions (more annoying).
> What clause of the Apache licence (which is *not* the Apache 'Public'
> licence, btw) requires you to accrete credit?  All it says is that
> if you use stuff from the ASF, you need to say so.  A one-liner,
> plus the Apache licence file, ought to be sufficient.
> > I understand that the FSF position on this is that the APL is GPL
> > incompatible because otherwise the required list of creditors
> > grows and grows with every person who makes individual
> > contributions which are not signed over to one of the current
> > "owners".
> That is not the case.  Nothing in the Apache licence requires
> anything of the kind.
> --
> #ken    P-)}
> Ken Coar                    <http://Golux.Com/coar/>
> Apache Software Foundation  <http://www.apache.org/>
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Ian Stokes-Rees, Engineering Manager  DecisionSoft Ltd.
Telephone: +44-1865-203192            http://www.decisionsoft.com

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