[kaffe] [RFC] Upcoming Apache Software Foundation License changes

Dalibor Topic robilad at kaffe.org
Sun Nov 16 17:40:03 PST 2003

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 

dalibor topic

[1] http://www.apache.org/licenses/proposed/
[2] http://www.jcp.org/aboutJava/communityprocess/JSPA.pdf
[3] http://www.apache.org/licenses/proposed/LICENSE-2.0.txt
[4] http://www.apache.org/licenses/proposed/ri-license.txt
[5] http://www.apache.org/licenses/proposed/tck-license.txt

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