March 4, 2004

FSF raises doubts over two open source licences

A change in licensing terms by the well-known open source projects Apache and XFree86 has led to the Free Software Foundation listing both licences as
being incompatible with the General Public Licence or GPL.

The new licence approved by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) was meant to be compatible with other open source licences, such as the GPL, and one
that remained true to the original goals of the Apache Group.

It was also intended to support collaborative development across both non-profit and commercial organisations.

The FSF has found the licence to be incompatible with the GPL, because it has a specific requirement that is not in the GPL: it has certain patent
termination cases that the GPL does not require.

The ASF did not respond to a request for comment. However it has issued a general statement about the compatibility argument on its website.

FSF executive director Bradley Kuhn said: "We have seen Apache (Software) Foundation's analysis on their website. We have not yet had an opportunity
to speak with them about it, and we have asked for a meeting as soon as possible to have a discussion between FSF and AF to work toward resolving the



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