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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: [Coding Standards] Apache licence and GPL compatible?
Date Thu, 18 Jan 2001 22:25:15 GMT
At 10:55  18/1/01 +0100, Ceki Gulcu wrote:
>Every time I hear that the APL (or any other permissive open source 
>license) is not compatible with the GPL my hair stands. So RMS decided that 
>the APL and the GPL are incompatible. No one seems to challenge that. Why 
>are the GPL and APL incompatible? Really, why? The GNU site 
>declares that the APL as incompatible saying the it has unacceptable 
>requirements. I wonder which requirements they are referring to.  Does 
>anyone know?

APL1.1 clause 5. (You may not use the name Apache, Ant or Jakarta in the
name of your product if you fork). However this clause would be covered by
common trademark law in US and most other western countries IFF the project
had been going for more than 6 months.

>The number of people who really understand open source licensing is 
>probably fewer than the number of scholars who understand general 
>relativity.  Does it all boil down to two egos (RMS/ESR)? Ceki

While it is unfortunately ego-centric there are/were valid choices for
different licenses. RMS wants to take over the world - he started the FSF
as an act of terrorism on the proprietrary software market. Because he
applied terrorist tactics it is considered very hostile to other friendlier

Compare this to MIT/BSD2 licenses (on which APL is based). They are less
terrorists and more working from within the system to change it. BSD based
code bases have had a much more fundamental effect on computing over years
- consider X windows, many of the unixes, the rise of TCP/IP as a standard,
probably the apache httpd etc can all be atributed to the freer licenses.

Before you say GPL is evil you have to consider the environment in which it
originated (1982 ???). The vendors never shared code and as such GPL was
the only option if you wanted to encourage rewriting. 

Where BSD usually has fewer developers who are less religious and more
skilled, GPL generally attracts the other type (zealots who are less
skilled and younger and many of them) due to it's dogma which is very
compatable with young liberal minds ;) GPL also is usually more prone to
having benevolent dictators while BSD organises by committee more - I gues
spartially due to history reasons and partially due to
sub-culture/matureity of developers.

There are exceptions though - many GPL projects have great developers while
many BSD projects have sucky ones. I have also seen many newer GPL or LGPL
projects starting to work by committee.

>Freedom as in the capacity to exercise choice.

did you choose this signature specially for this mail ?



| "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, |
| and proving that there is no need to do so - almost |
| everyone gets busy on the proof."                   |
|              - John Kenneth Galbraith               |

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