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Re: FSDG-compatibility of APSL-2.0

From: Liliana Marie Prikler
Subject: Re: FSDG-compatibility of APSL-2.0
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2022 09:43:39 +0200
User-agent: Evolution 3.42.1

Hi Philip,

Am Donnerstag, dem 16.06.2022 um 02:21 -0400 schrieb Philip McGrath:
> Hi Guix,
> Is the Apple Public Source License 2.0 (APSL-2.0 [1]) a free license 
> according to Guix's standards?
While it isn't included in the free licenses list the FSF publishes,
from your note [6] I would guess that it is a GPL-incompatible free
software license.

> I'm not a lawyer, so take this paragraph lease seriously, but I also 
> think the concrete impact is less than it might first seem. We accept
> choice-of-forum provisions like the one in MPL-2.0 ("Any litigation 
> relating to this License may be brought only in the courts of a 
> jurisdiction where the defendant maintains its principal place of 
> business and such litigation shall be governed by laws of that 
> jurisdiction, without reference to its conflict-of-law provisions.")
> [8] which would require you to sue Apple in California. We also
> accept licenses like the GPL that don't have any choice-of-forum
> provisions: the law of "personal jurisdiction" and venue is complex,
> but I would not be shocked if Apple could sue you in California in
> this case. My impression is that it would be very difficult to
> require something like a "freedom not to litigate in California"
> (especially so for all possible values of "California") without
> rejecting many currently-accepted licenses.
While this clause exists, it might be unenforcible in practice. 
Suppose you did violate the APSL, for instance, by linking to GPL code.
If you are already in California, Apple can draw you before the
Californean court, but if you don't and simply decide to not heed their
call, Apple needs to appeal to international law enforcement or your
country in particular, whichever is easier.  I doubt that this will
make any difference in the US (safe for travel expenses), but if they
have to cross either ocean, things become more difficult.

In general, free software licenses presuppose a copyright law, which 1)
is active by default and 2) allows for the exemptions specified in
them.  As such, licenses like the WTFPL, while fun, might not hold up
in court if you live in a jurisdiction where "rights" can not be
disclaimed, or have to be disclaimed without resorting to expletives.

IANAL, but I think incompatibility with the GPL might be a bigger issue
when thinking about APSL-licensed packages.

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