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ASL2 vs. GPL?

With the Apache Foundation publicly disagreeing with the FSF over
whether the new Apache Source License 2.0 is compatible with the GPL,
I think it might be wise for us to look into the matter and form our
own opinions, so that (e.g.) if someone submits code that mixes the
two licenses, we'll know how to respond.

The AF rebuttal to the FSF is found here:


My initial impression is that their analysis is flawed.  In
particular, where they point to section 3 of their own license, and
section 7 of the GPL, they say, "In other words, the GPL says that you
cannot redistribute software that is covered by a patent wherein the
patent is not licensed free for everyone."  I don't think that's a
correct rephrasing of section 7.

The portion of section 7 they highlight says, "if a patent license
would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all
those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the
only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
refrain entirely from distribution of the Program."  However, this is
just an example, and is clearly marked as such.

My back-of-the-cocktail-napkinrebuttal to the AF's rebuttal is simple:
the GPL requires that patent licenses be compatible with the GPL.  It
does not require that patent licenses be compatible with any other
licenses (free or not).  The ASL2 requires that patent licenses be
compatible with other licenses (specifically, the ASL2).  Therefore,
the ASL2 has requirements beyond those found in the GPL.  Therefore,
the ASL2 is not compatible with the GPL.

Chris Waters           |  Pneumonoultra-        osis is too long
xtifr@debian.org       |  microscopicsilico-    to fit into a single
or xtifr@speakeasy.net |  volcaniconi-          standalone haiku

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