Understanding the Fb vs Apache Software program Basis License Kerfuffle

Translation: French by [@gnieh](https://twitter.com/gnieh)

Disclaimers: I’m not a lawyer. I’m not talking for Fb, the ASF, or CouchDB. It is a private view on the matter.

tl;dr: Tasks on the Apache Software program Basis can not use dependencies which might be distributed below Fb’s “BSD+Patents” license, together with React.

Intent of this put up

I’m attempting to clarify the scenario in easy language and with out bias. There’s lots of misinformation round this difficulty that I hope I can clear up right here. If there’s something that I obtained improper right here, please do let me know.

What occurred?

Why did it occur?

To grasp the battle, we have to look at what the ASF and Fb respectively try to attain with their insurance policies and licenses.

Apart: I need to make doubly clear that I’m not attempting to take sides in any of this, I’m merely explaining the underlying intentions of very dense authorized texts. In my view, each Fb and the ASF can do no matter they need by way of licensing. And if their objectives differ, that may result in battle, like on this case. That’s unlucky, however that’s the messy world we stay in.

The ASF Facet

It’s the ASF’s Coverage, that anybody utilizing Apache initiatives as a dependency for an Open Supply or business venture can accomplish that with out (m)any restrictions.

The Apache License 2.0 lists just a few restrictions, briefly:

  • you’ll be able to’t use the Apache venture’s identify or trademark(s).
  • you could embrace a duplicate of the license and a discover that the venture in query is being utilized by your venture.
  • for those who modified something within the Apache venture, it’s worthwhile to point out that too.

In return, the Apache License 2.0 then grants you a copyright license that allows you to do no matter. That is what’s most related to different Open Supply initiatives.

It additionally grants you a patent license, which is most related to business customers of Apache initiatives.

For instance, this implies I can take Apache CouchDB and launch it as a brand new business and closed-source database JanDB. Provided that I abide by the necessities talked about within the Apache License 2.0 (as summarised above), with or with out modifications, without spending a dime or for cash or some other objective I select.

This “downstream freedom” is a significant intention of why the ASF exists within the first place and is as such encoded of their insurance policies and licenses.

Now, the Apache License 2.0 contains another restriction and its a part of the aforementioned patent license. In case you are utilizing an Apache venture you’ll be able to’t use any of your patents to assert that the ASF or anybody else who’s utilizing that very same venture is infringing in your patent with out dropping the patent license to the Apache Mission.

Within the JanDB instance, if I maintain a specific patent on database know-how, I can’t sue some other CouchDB customers over that patent, with out additionally dropping my patent license for CouchDB from the ASF. I can nonetheless sue them over different issues, together with patents infringed on by different software program the opposite corporations are utilizing.

With a view to make it less complicated for Apache initiatives to resolve what sort of licenses its dependencies can have, the ASF has created a useful overview of allowed, and disallowed licenses, and every part in between. The disallowed licenses are labeled as “Class X” licenses. This checklist contains a variety of highly regarded Open Supply licenses together with the GPL household and plenty of others.

The Fb Facet

Fb’s focus with its BSD+Patents license is safety in opposition to so-called “frivolous” or “meritless” lawsuits. Briefly: in case you are an enormous firm with a lot of cash and publicity, enterprising assholes will attempt to come after you for no matter purpose to legally extract a few of that cash or publicity. Patents are a chief automobile for such asshattery.

The BSD+Patents license is designed to minimise these lawsuits for Fb, and with the August 18th choice they have confirmed that this stays a excessive precedence.

The Fb patent clause has the same restriction to what the Apache License 2.0 states, besides, it’s broader in definition. Whereas the Apache License 2.0 model particularly restricts its clause to “the Work” (say Apache CouchDB), the Fb patent license is revoked when any “Patent Assertion” is introduced up in opposition to Fb.

So when you’ve got a patent that you simply suppose some a part of Fb infringes upon, however is unrelated to your use of React, you lose your patent license to React whenever you resolve to sue Fb over that patent. Within the Apache License 2.0 case, you solely lose the patent license for those who assert the identical infringement for the venture you might be your self licensing (say Apache CouchDB within the “JanDB” instance).

In October 2014, Fb switched React from the Apache License 2.0 to BSD+Patents explicitly, as a result of it incorporates a broader safety and in October 2016 have confirmed their intentions in name between the ASF and Fb.

What does that imply?

Tasks on the Apache Software program Basis can’t use any dependencies which might be labelled as Class X by the ASF’s Authorized crew. This contains React + ecosystem initiatives which might be additionally launched by Fb below the BSD+Patents license. Tasks that already use such dependencies can’t make any new releases previous August thirty first, 2017 together with these dependencies, and need to migrate away from these dependencies now.

Affected initiatives are (at the very least): Cordova, Superset, TrafficControl, Ambari, Allura, Whimsy, Spot, Myriad, CouchDB, Lens, SensSoft, Sling (Up to date August twenty second).


What are the choices for ASF initiatives now?

  1. take away the dependency altogether, or discover an alternate that has a appropriate license, and cope with no matter further work that must be executed to make the migration.

  2. transfer to a plugin structure the place the BSD+Patents licensed plugin is maintained and distributed outdoors of the ASF, however could be added by end-users.

Apart: it’s true that there are initiatives which have (or declare) API compatibility with React, that include appropriate licenses. “Simply use X” is a typical advice that ignores a bunch of realities:

  • React is extra than simply it’s core, however there’s a large ecosystem for a lot of associated duties round constructing internet apps. Lots of these associated initiatives are additionally licensed below BSD+Patents, to allow them to’t be used both, and few or no replacements exist for these. So “transferring to X” shouldn’t be as trivial as it would sound, relying on the extent of different initiatives which might be used on high of React. As a degree of knowledge, for CouchDB’s Fauxton admin interface, the porting work is estimated at 3+ months of devoted developer time for switching away from React. In our case, it’s a major time funding that takes beneficial developer time away from different urgent issues.

  • React contains a variety of technical improvements, some people have prompt to maneuver to a different framework that features a subset of those improvements (say JSX), however not any of the opposite ones, together with API compatibility. Transferring to such a framework is considerably extra work than the earlier choice. In CouchDB/Fauxton’s case, that may be very possible prohibitive, however we’re nonetheless exploring choices.

Why didn’t the ASF do that sooner?

The ASF Authorized crew doesn’t proactively overview any and all software program licenses. This difficulty was introduced up on April twentieth, 2017, and resolved throughout the ASF by June seventeenth.

What does that imply for the license compatibility with different Apache License 2.0 licensed initiatives utilizing React?


The incompatibility is between the BSD+Patents license and ASF coverage.

What does this imply for my (open supply or closed supply) venture that makes use of each ASF and React software program.


What does this implies for me/my Open Supply venture/my firm that’s utilizing React?


Until you might be a part of the ASF or one other organisation that has the same coverage relating to the BSD+Patents license. There appear to be a few.

Why was RocksDB relicensed and React et.al. weren’t?

I can solely speculate, however React is a a lot a lot bigger goal, was otherwise licensed from the get go, and Fb is all for having RocksDB assist in Cassandra and appears to be contributing that work. However I wouldn’t know for positive.

Aren’t Software program Patents simply the worst?


However I’d fairly have the ASF and Fb be upfront about their intentions than leaving issues at nighttime like most different Open Supply initiatives and corporations.

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

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The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.