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Re: [fielding@apache.org: Review of proposed Apache License, version 2.0]

On Mon, Nov 17, 2003 at 06:02:12AM +0000, Andrew Suffield wrote:
> Finally, it is totally unacceptable to tie this into a software
> copyright license, such that accepting the license affects the status
> of your own patents. That's non-free however you look at it.

Your own patents are only affected if you contribute code that uses
them.  If I distribute modifications to a GPL work, the status of my own
copyright is affected, too.

Also, note 3B and 3C.  Modifications being marked a "contribution", and
thus having patent licenses attached, is completely optional.  I can't
find any requirement in section 7 that all distributed modifications be

Hmm.  It seems that if someone forks Apache, the Apache team could not
integrate anything from the fork; if someone uses Apache's code and
improves it, they couldn't use it, at least without discussion with
copyright holders, since the changes wouldn't be "contributions".  I
wonder if that's intentional.  (Well, there's no real guarantee in
in the license that all code in Apache will be "contributions", but
that would defeat the point.)

> (And this still applies just as much to software licenses. It is
> *hard* to gain a copyright license; you have to create the work.

The GPL requires that any distributed modifications be freely (according
to the GPL) licensed to whoever receives it.  I think the general notion
here is to have a similar requirement for patents that affect the code.

I'm inclined to think of it as "if you contribute code, we want a license
to use it under *both* copyright and patent laws, not just copyright".
I'm undecided about reciprocity for something we don't require to begin
with (patent licenses).

Glenn Maynard

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