Re: APSL 1.1

From: Ben Pfaff <pfaffben(at)pilot(dot)msu(dot)edu>
To: Chip Salzenberg <chip(at)perlsupport(dot)com>
Cc: John Hasler <john(at)dhh(dot)gt(dot)org>, debian-legal(at)lists(dot)debian(dot)org, spi-general(at)lists(dot)debian(dot)org
Subject: Re: APSL 1.1
Date: 1999-04-20 17:55:59
Views: Raw Message | Whole Thread | Download mbox
Lists: spi-general

Chip Salzenberg <chip(at)perlsupport(dot)com> writes:

According to John Hasler:
> This is improved, but it still allows revocation on the basis of a
> mere allegation of infringement. I could send a letter to Apple
> claiming that the Original Code infringes the copyright on the term
> paper I wrote for Anthro 101 in 1967 and it would be grounds for a
> suspension. It also still requires that every user continuously
> monitor a Web page.

Note also that the license is only *suspended*, and the APSL takes
explicit notice of your right to carry on as *you* see fit, even if
Apple takes a cautious path on a given disagreement.

No it doesn't. It says ``Apple may, at its option... suspend Your
rights to use... the Affected Original Code until a final
determination of the claim is made by a court... and Apple lifts the

Maybe you think that the last clause in that paragraph, ``If Apple
suspends Your rights... nothing in this License shall be construed to
restrict You... from replacing the Affected Original Code...'', means
that you have some additional rights.

It means *nothing*. Consider what happens if someone claims to have
rights to all of a product, whether that's true or not. Then Apple
suspends your rights and you have the ``right'' to replace the whole
thing with something else. That's absurd.

If offered something under such a license, you might as well refuse it
entirely and replace it in advance, because there's a good chance
you'll have to do so in the future anyway when a claim is made against

The claims process laid out in 9.1 is as follows:

0. Someone makes a claim, bogus or not.
1. Apple suspends your rights.
2. A court makes a judgment.
3. Apple lifts the suspension.

There are *big* problems with this:

[0] There is no distinction between bogus claims and
reasonable claims.

[2] There is no guarantee that a court will ever be involved
or that it will make a judgment.

[3] There is no guarantee that Apple will ever lift the

> I find it hard to understand why Apple believes that it could have any
> liability for my use of gratis software that I pulled off a Web site.

Are you a lawyer?

No. Are you willing to trust lawyers? I'm not.

I trust that Apple's lawyers aren't shadowboxing. They know how
unpopular the termination clause was, but they apparently felt that
they couldn't just remove it. And they showed they were willing to
remove unpopular clauses when possible: the export clause is gone.

This clause gives Apple the right to revoke all our rights at any time
for any reason. I won't use code under this license.
"...dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral
pour encourager les autres."
--Voltaire, _Candide_


Browse spi-general by date

  From Date Subject
Next Message Ben Pfaff 1999-04-20 18:28:05 Re: APSL 1.1
Previous Message John Hasler 1999-04-20 17:09:29 Re: [ APSL 1.1 available for comment.]