Subject: Re: apache license 2.0 for consideration
From: Eben Moglen <>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 13:58:13 -0500


Since you forwarded me the beginning of your list's thread on ASL2 and
GPL2 I have been preparing the analysis you quite rightly sought.  I
regret that the statement at was, and is, inadequate to
explain FSF's concerns; you have correctly inferred that I did not
write it.

Today's statement by the Apache Foundation raises a new question for
me, about which I had assumed that careful reading of your license
would provide an answer, but which I answered for myself--after such a
reading--differently than the Apache Foundation statement.

I hope we can clarify both our views quickly, to avoid the public row
that seems (unnecessarily so far as I can see) to be developing.  For
this purpose, I need to ask the question raised by today's statement:

  A developer, X, adds GPL'd code to Apache, and distributes the combination.
  The combined code, including the GPL'd code itself, practices the
  teaching of a patent, P, licensed under ASL2.  A user, Y, asserts a
  defensive patent claim of infringement by Apache.  Is the license to
  practice patent P in the GPL'd code added to Apache by X withdrawn or
  in force?  Is the license as to the ASL code combined with the GPL
  code withdrawn or in force?

I have been assuming, on the basis of the license text, which seemed
clear to me, that the answer is "withdrawn/withdrawn."  Your statement
of today asserting GPL compatibility suggests that the answer must be
"in force/in force."  Can you help?

Thanks and best regards.

 Eben Moglen                       voice: 212-854-8382 
 Professor of Law                    fax: 212-854-7946       moglen@
 Columbia Law School, 435 West 116th Street, NYC 10027
 General Counsel, Free Software Foundation
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