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FSF calls Apple Public Source License 2.0 a Free Software license
By jbn, Section News
Posted on Thu Aug 7th, 2003 at 19:20:42 GMT

The FSF has said the Apple Public Source License v2.0 is a Free Software license. The older document describing the problems with the previous versions of the APSL is still online.

 

A couple of issues with the APSL strike me as objectionable:

  • Section 13.6 (Dispute Resolution) says disputes will be resolved in the Northern District of California. Doesn't this make people outside that district "vulnerable to the insane US patent system and the incompetent US patent office, which ordinarily could not touch them in their own countries" as the FSF said about the older APSL's termination clause?
  • Section 12.1 (c) (Termination) says your rights under the APSL are immediately terminated if you "commence an action for patent infringement against Apple; provided that Apple did not first commence an action for patent infringement against You in that instance". Does this mean Apple is essentially asking you to choose between letting Apple infringe your patents or (if they have their way) run APSL-covered software? Or would Apple's infringing behavior be considered "commenc[ing] an action for patent infringement"?

The FSF addresses some concerns in summary fashion (for example, they mention the unfairness of the APSL "since it requires you to give Apple rights to your changes which Apple will not give you for its code") and suggests you do not release new software using the APSL. But the FSF says it is "ok to use and improve software which other people release under this license" and they are clear to point out that this does not make MacOS X a free software operating system--parts of MacOS X are proprietary software and therefore disqualify the entire OS from being free.

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FSF calls Apple Public Source License 2.0 a Free Software license | 7 comments (7 topical, editorial) | Post A Comment
[new] How can anyone consider this licence to be free? (#1)
by a member of the hurd (#-1) on Sun Aug 17th, 2003 at 16:50:11 GMT

It does not even allow for private copies to be modified and run under all circumstances. (Or
making it extremly difficult, as it forces one to
distribute things). How can anyone consider this licence to be free?

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FSF calls Apple Public Source License 2.0 a Free Software license | 7 comments (7 topical, editorial) | Post A Comment
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