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

On Mon, Nov 17, 2003 at 08:19:01AM -0500, Joe Moore wrote:
> Here's a bit from a hypothetical software license:
>    In addition, by using this software, you grant to the Original Author a
> non-exclusive right to use, modify, and/or distribute any work of which you
> own copyright, for as long as you use or distribute The Program.
> Clearly, no one would argue that this license is a Free Software license.
> It requires a significant cost (all of your copyrights) to use the software.
> However, this is essentially what the reciprocal patent clause is requiring.
>  As part of the Apache license, you must agree not to sue any contributor
> for any of your software patents, for as long as you continue to use Apache.

The only problem I see here is return fire: if I'm holding patents as a
defense strategy, I want to be able to use them to return fire if an
Apache contributor decides to attack me with his own patents, unrelated
to Apache.

I can't decide if that makes it non-free, or is just an ugly loophole in
the license.

(I don't care about preserving people's freedom to use patents to restrict
freedom, but I do sympathise with allowing them to be used defensely.)

>  If you do, then all of your Apache use is unlicensed.

All you lose is a license to the patents granted by that Contributor
(under section 4b).  Section 5 does not revoke licenses granted under
section 4a, only 4b; you don't lose your copyright license to Apache,
and you don't lose patent licenses granted by other Contributors.

Glenn Maynard

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