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Re: DFSG-freeness of Apache Software Licenses

On Nov 13, 2003, at 17:07, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

Several comments are to the effect that the patent license cannot be
terminated.  There is no such restriction in the DFSG. Furthermore,
the GPL, BSD, and other licenses that Debian claims are free have no
patent license grant at all, which is equivalent to a terminated
license. If the proposed 2.0 license is non-free, then none of your
example licenses are free either.

First off, the GPL does have a patent grant in it. If you had a patent on GPL covered code and distributed it, that'd violate GPL 6.

Second, otherwise free code (e.g., BSD) isn't free if we can't use it according to the DFSG because of patent restrictions.

Please note that the DFSG doesn't say "copyright" anywhere. It applies to the total license. If a patent prevents us from doing things the DFSG demands, then it's not DFSG-free.

Your comment regarding "I think that we have prohibited such
litigation-termination licenses as non-free" only applies to
clauses that terminate the ENTIRE license, copyright and patent.
Our termination clause only applies to the patent license -- it has
no effect on redistribution, and no additional effect on use than
what would exist without the patent grant.

And without a patent grant, the work would not be free.

One comment is that the NOTICE file might contain a tome of work
that isn't appropriate as a requirement for redistribution.  That
comment is sensible and should be addressed.  However, I will note
that no such restriction exists in the DFSG, since it is well within
the scope of DFSG.4.  It is thus entirely "free", even if it is a
bad idea.

Its within the scope of DFSG 4 if it only has to be distributed with source, not binaries.

One comment is to the effect that the NOTICE file must contain
legally required terms of use.  That is absurd -- there is no such
restriction in DFSG.

  Another comment indicates that allowing
advertisement notices (a.k.a., attribution) in the NOTICE file
would make it not GPL-compatible -- that comment is hopelessly

That depends. If an "advertisement" is just attribution --- e.g., a copyright statement --- then that'd probably be fine. If its an actual advertisement, like the type you see in the newspaper, then it wouldn't be.

One comment is to the effect that the RI and TCK agreements
are not free because they restrict the manner in which a trademarked
namespace can be modified *and* redistributed.  Such restrictions are
well within the constraints of DFSG.4.

Would you care to explain how they are?

One comment is that it is 48K of text.  The copy I wrote, including
all of the example text and panic disclaimer, is 13935 bytes, and
the terms and conditions are 1426 words.  The GPL is 18007 bytes,
with 2004 words in the T&C.

All together, the message was 48K. That has nothing to do with freeness, of course.

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