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From "Roy T. Fielding" <>
Subject Re: Harmony Podlling Quarterly Report
Date Fri, 29 Jul 2005 01:02:11 GMT
On Jul 28, 2005, at 5:12 PM, Mark Wielaard wrote:

> Nice Harmony spirit there.

A nice spirit would be to stop blindly believing everything
the FSF says about compatibility, particularly on their
ridiculous license compatibility list, and instead use your
own brain to read the license.

> Just like the ASF, the FSF likes to have paperwork on file for all
> contributions to any of their projects.

Look at the difference between the paperwork.  The FSF wants a
copyright assignment so that they can enforce the terms of GPL
against anyone who violates it.  The ASF wants a non-exclusive
license so that we don't get sued for redistribution.  Unlike
the FSF, we only need paperwork as a backup statement from
significant contributors.

> But also just like the ASF, the
> FSF does distribute external parts. Even things that are not under the
> GPL or LGPL. If you look at the GNU Classpath project for example you
> will find a couple of examples in our external/ directory. These are
> projects which we wish to distribute together with GNU Classpath and 
> for
> which we know the distribution terms are acceptable and they come from
> known good upstream projects. Of course ASF products would qualify as
> known good upstream, since the paperwork you require for contributions
> are so similar to what the FSF requires in the form of individual and
> company disclaimers. And if the distribution terms are GPL-compatible 
> we
> would be happy to ship anything that comes out of our harmony work.
> We decided to take legal/political issues off the harmony list itself 
> so
> we could concentrate on technical matters for now and hoped that any
> (perceived) license issues blocking further collaboration between the
> groups could be worked out in the meantime. Without creating huge flame
> wars on the list. That is why Geir brings it up here. To see if the
> incubation process allows for these kind of compromises to get more
> people involved. I really hope there will be more substantial feedback
> then "go suck an egg" if no compromise is possible. The above really
> isn't that helpful.

I have been helpful for the past ten years and have seen nothing
but intentional obstruction from the FSF.  Think about that.

The only time that the Apache License and GPL conflict is when
the owner of a patent sues an entity for patent infringement
because that entity is redistributing an Apache licensed work
while at the same time the patent owner is offering the same work
under a GPL license.  Now, who do you think would want to sue
the Apache Software Foundation or its redistributors for patent
infringement, while at the same time offering the exact same code
under the GPL?

As I explained in my helpful feedback to Geir at ApacheCon,
all you have to do to guarantee compatibility between the GPL
and anything covered by the Apache license, including all of
our discussion forums, is for YOU to agree not to sue any of
the people contributing code for patent infringement.  That's it.
If you agree to that then you can distribute the code under the
GPL because the GPL does satisfy all of the Apache terms.

Alternatively, if you wish to blindly follow the advice of
the FSF, you can also use anything discussed on the list by
simply asking the person who contributed the code for an
additional agreement, namely that they will not terminate
their own patent licenses for their contributions if they
happen to be sued by the FSF for patent infringement.

If you can't live with those conditions, then why should we
want to collaborate with you?


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