apache license 2.0 for consideration

Brian Behlendorf brian at collab.net
Tue Feb 17 19:33:04 UTC 2004

On Tue, 17 Feb 2004, Mahesh T. Pai wrote:
> Russell Nelson said on Mon, Feb 16, 2004 at 05:12:21PM -0500,:
>  > If nobody else reviews this license, then the license approval
> <snip>
>  > comply with the OSD (cough, cough).  But still, could somebody else
>  > take a gander at this?
> This license was discussed on licenses at apache.org, and I had seen
> quite a few regulars on this and debian-legal there; and in one mail,
> Eben Moglen of FSF wrote:-
> <quote>
>     FSF notes  that section 5 is the  only element of ASL  2.0 that is
>     incompatible  with version 2  of the  GNU General  Public License.
>     FSF  continues to  believe that  the achievement  of compatibility
>     between ASL and GPL would  be of enormous benefit to the community
>     of  free software  developers,  allowing merger  of valuable  code
>     bases  currently separated by  license incompatibilities.   FSF is
>     pleased to note the convergence implied by the ASL 2.0 draft.  FSF
>     will make efforts, in the development, discussion, and adoption of
>     GPL  3  to  further  the  process  of  convergence,  by  carefully
>     considering the Apache Foundation's approach to the patent defense
>     problem.  For this reason, we consider the distinction between the
>     approaches contained in the  first and second sentences of section
>     5 to be particularly significant.
> </quote>
> Sec. 5 referred to by Prof.  Moglen was Sec 5 of the original draft as
> proposed by the Apache Foundation.  This seems to have been renumbered
> as section 3 in the final license.

Also, the "second sentence" referred to above by Eben in the older draft
was the broader one that applied to any patent action taken against any
open source software product.  It was narrowed, in the draft that was
eventually officially approved, to only cover patent actions regarding
*the licensed software itself*, narrowing the scope but being much more

> Finally, on January 24th, Roy Fielding of the Apache Foundation stated
> on the same list:-
> <quote>
>     They(*) are compatible.   Whether  or  not   they  are  considered
>     compatible by the FSF is an  opinion only they can make, but given
>     that a derivative work consisting of both Apache Licensed code and
>     GPL  code can  be distributed  under the  GPL (according  to *our*
>     opinion), there really isn't anything to be discussed.
> </quote>
> Guess that settles the matter.

Well, Russ's "matter" is conformance with the OSD, not the GPL.  Nothing
came up in our own drafting and discussion of the ASL that suggested
something beyond the OSD's constraints.  The same basic contract is there
- use our code for whatever purpose you want, just give us credit, don't
call it "Apache" if it's your work, and caveat emptor.

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