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    I’m not very good at understanding the wording of licenses, so can anyone tell me if I understand the patent issue correctly?

    A piece of software made by Alice and using the Apache License 2.0 makes use of an algorithm A that is patented. Bob downloads and installs Alice’s software; he is given the “authorization” to use the patented algorithm, free of charge. However, should Bob decide to sue Alice for using a patented algorithm B in her software, his authorization to use the algorithm A is voided.

    In the BSD+PATENTS case, the patent authorization is voided should Bob sue Alice for any patent whatsoever, even if it has nothing to do with Alice’s software.

    Am I getting this right or completely missed the point?

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      IANAL, but this matches my understanding.

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        Such questions shouldn’t even come up if a licence is well written. Facebook’s BSD+PATENTS looks like a very sloppily written licence to me. All that matters in the end is Facebook’s intent, and the text is supposed to communicate that intent clearly.

        Facebook stated that this licence is deliberately incompatible with the APLv2. In the linked Jira issue, Roy T. Fielding said:

        I have discussed that license with Facebook’s legal counsel. It is not BSD (which relies on implied patent grants) and is intentionally incompatible with the Apache License.

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      And now they’re trying to persuade every project they use to switch to Apache License 2:

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        I wish the ASF would still be using APlv1. It’s sad that the US legal system and patent situation caused this mess. The ASF is a very US-centric organisation (even though they don’t tend to view themselves as such), and from a perspective of a country where software paternts are not (yet) a thing, the differences between APLv1 and APLv2 appear as a solution looking for a problem.

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          Even in the US, this feels like a solution looking for a problem. BSD licenses have long been considered to provide an implicit patent grant (by the very wording: “Permission is hereby granted to use, copy, modify and distribute for any purpose…”). http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Implicit_patent_licence

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          And now they’re trying to persuade every project they use to switch to Apache License 2

          No, they are asking politely if the projects might be willing to consider changing their licensing to be compatible. There is no persuasion going on by ASF people (which I assume you mean by “they”).

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            Maybe I used the word incorrectly, but to me a polite request to change the license or the influential in the open source world organization would stop using the product feels pretty close to persuasion.

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              I don’t see any major problem with them trying to persuade React and RocksDB to use a different license (in fact, I welcome it, personally). What they aren’t trying to do is coerce RocksDB and React to use the APL2. That would be a very different situation.

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          A problem with that PATENTS file is that it appears to give Facebook a license to violate your patents. If you don’t defend your PATENTS, then you risk losing them. If you challenge Facebook for violating your patents, you risk losing React. Many companies don’t use Facebook’s libraries for that reason.

          It isn’t wise to have that kind of thing hanging over “Free software” projects. Because React, Immutable, and other Facebook libraries are becoming dependencies of other projects, it’s poisoning the open source ecosystem.

          Easy solution: delete the PATENTS file from all Facebook repos and keep them under a simple, well-known BSD license.

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            Perhaps its just me, but following the link leads to a page requiring login.

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              It might be your computer, I am not prompted to log in. Here’s what the Apache Software Foundation’s legal page says:

              Rocks DB License The Rocks DB license includes a specification of a PATENTS file that passes along risk to downstream consumers of our software imbalanced in favor of the licensor, not the licensee, thereby violating our Apache legal policy of being a universal donor. The terms of Rocks DB license license are not a subset of those found in the ALv2, and they cannot be sublicensed as ALv2.
              Facebook BSD+Patents license
              The Facebook BSD+Patents License is the more industry standard term for the Rocks DB license and its variants. The same conditions for Rocks DB apply to the use of the Facebook BSD+Patents license in ASF products.

              [Edited to remove the excerpt from the parent post’s JIRA page – I only quoted half of the letter, and om second thoughts I’m not sure whether the quote succeeded in capturing the essence, or was instead incomplete in an unhelpful or misdirecting way. Don’t have the time right now to do this right, either. Sorry.]