APL license - What about the enforced logos?

David Woolley david at djwhome.demon.co.uk
Wed Nov 8 07:10:14 UTC 2006

> > > (iii) the copyright notice in the same form as the latest
> > > version of the Covered Code distributed by Alfresco Software, Inc. at
> > > the time of distribution of such copy.
> > 
> > This makes it difficult for downstream contributors to protect their
> > modifications; it is probably also false designation of origin (and thus
> > prosecutable under the Latham Act).
> (Sorry, I don't get this.  And, yes, I am familiar with trademark law.)

I believe that the problem being highlighted is that the actual
copyright ownership may be a composite of Alfresco's and subsequent
contributors', but this requirement can result in the notice not
being allowed to include notice of the subsequent contributions, thus
misrepresenting the true copyright ownership.  (I suspect that Alfresco
don't really want third party modifications that are non-obvious and
not assigned to them, as they generally seem to be trying to retain
more rights than is normal for open source).

Another problem is that it would reset the copyright date, which,
as the copyright is corporate, would purport to extend the life of
Alfresco's copyright.

Finally, if one interprets this as referring to the licence grant, rather
than the copyright notice, it means that the licence can be modified
or revoked.  I cannot remember if the OSD requires a perpetual licence
to redistribute, but the lack of one would certainly not be looked
on kindly by the open source community.  (My feeling is that the
clause either has to be interpreted as void or referring to the
grant rather than the notice.)

> > 
> > This requires there be a GUI!
> I believe a judge would consider the words "if any" to be clearly
> implied.

I thought that a judge's job in this respect was to try to determine,
on the balance of probability, what the licence drafter's intentions
were.  On my reading of the material quoted, I think it is clear that
they, did require the visibility and presence of hyperlinks that 
could only really be achieved by having a GUI.  I think it was also
fairly clear that they didn't intend to have their code extracted and
used as part of other programs, but only to licence the complete

> > This requires that HTTP is available....
> I believe a judge would consider the words "if applicable" to be
> clearly implied.

As above.

IANAL.  I would say this licence is sufficiently unsafe that it would be
essential to get qualified legal opinion before redistributing the software.

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