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[RFC] Upcoming Apache Software Foundation License changes

From: Dalibor Topic
Subject: [RFC] Upcoming Apache Software Foundation License changes
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 23:39:03 +0100
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Hi all,

excuse me for cross-posting the following e-mail to so many diverse projects. As I'm subscribed to all those projects mailing lists, I was surprised to notice a lack of discussion on the effect of the upcoming Apache Software Foundation (ASF) license changes [1] on them.

Most of you know ASF for their great work on free java software. ASF is increasingly becoming the testbed, and reference implementation provider for Java APIs, which end up in the implementations provided by Sun. The ASF is trying to modify its licenses to ensure GPL compatibility on one hand, and satisfy JSPA (Java Specification Participation Agreement) [2] requirements on the other hand, among other goals.

A new set of licenses replaces the single Apache license by 3 separate licenses, that inted to cover general Apache projects [3], reference implementation of a JSR (Java Specification Request) [4], and testing compatibility kits (TCKs) of a JSR [5].

As many of you are involved in projects that provide free implementations of parts of the runtime environment for Java programs, it would be nice if you could take some time to comment on the proposed licenses to the Apache license discussion mailing list. Instructions how to join that mailing list are povided on [1], the archives are on [6].

The effect of the upcoming ASF license change *could* be beneficial to the free software java world and the ASF wants to achieve that. The availability of RIs and TCKs under a liberal license seems particularly attractive to free software Java projects.

You can help fixing problems with the next apache licenses if you take some time to comment on them. If you intend to so so, make sure to submit your comment today. Yes, today is the last day, therefore you get this cross-posted e-mail, and so on. Anyway, comment on what you percieve as problematic, and your grandgrandchildren may thank you ;)

For another take on this issue, please take a look at Mark Wielaard's (GNU Classpath maintainer) reply [7] to an earlier version of this RFC sent to the debian-java mailing list, who asks developers to take a look at the RI and TCK licenses, as the ASF hasn't received many comments on those.

dalibor topic

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