IANAL, but consider if FB hadn’t created and distributed the patent grant file. My guess is we would probably be worse off. But creating it draws attention to something normally invisible, because I don’t think any software license automatically protects you from patent litigation.
Also not a lawyer, but Apache 2.0 explicitly mentions patents. As I understand it, it says that you have an automatic grant to all relevant patents owned by all contributors, but if you claim one of your patents is infringed by people using the software, you lose your licence to the software.
Compare to the React licence, which says you lose your licence to the software if you sue Facebook over any patent at all, regardless of whether it’s related to React or not.
The Apache 2.0 licence is a well-regarded Free Software licence, but the React licence, it seems, is not.
I’ll see myself out. :)
Please don’t remove comments even if they’re incorrect–it makes reading threads later a lot harder.
But editing a comment to state that you retract it would seem valuable. (Elsewhere I’d propose striking it out, e.g. by enclosing the whole shebang in <s></s>; alas, no strikeouts on Lobsters.)
This is incorrect. If you sue Facebook over any patent at all, it does not terminate your software license. It does terminate the additional patent grant. So the patent grant plus the BSD license gives you strictly more legal protection than the BSD license alone does. The Apache 2.0 license also revokes the patent grant, but not the entire license, if you initiate patent litigation against the copyright holder.
See the last question at https://code.facebook.com/pages/850928938376556
Apache 2.0 covers you, but the point still stands for other libraries licensed under licenses such as BSD. I’d presume GPL(v2) also protects you against patents, but this is just an assumption. It would be nice to get confirmation for this from a source that is at least somewhat official (regarding US jurisdiction).
GPLv2 does nothing for patents that MIT or BSD doesn’t. That was one of several reasons for GPLv3.