US-based open-source community Apache Foundation has said it will not use Facebook’s ‘BSD-licensed’ code for any of its new software projects for legal reasons. The foundation banned the use of libraries, frameworks and tools covered by Facebook’s open-source ‘BSD-plus-Patents’ license in any new projects, The Register reported on Tuesday.
“No new project, sub-project or codebase, which has not used Facebook’s ‘BSD-plus-Patents’ licensed jars are allowed to use them,” Chris Mattmann, Legal Affairs Director, Apache Foundation, was quoted as saying.
“In other words, if you haven’t been using them, you aren’t allowed to start. It is ‘Cat-X’,” he added.
A library belonging to the ‘Cat-X’ category cannot be used in any Apache product.
The existing projects that rely on the ‘BSD-plus-Patents’ licensed libraries have until August 31 to find a suitable replacement for Facebook’s code that has been approved by the foundation.
The decision has been taken considering certain terms in Facebook’s customised agreement with coders which includes the provision that says if someone accuses Facebook of patent infringement, they lose the right to use and distribute its code.
They would also lose rights to the code, if they sue someone else for patent infringement in a way that involves Facebook’s code, according to the terms.
However Facebook insisted that the license was not written to stop any software from competing with its own and that the terms do not apply to patent infringement suits unless their patent counter-claim is related to its software licensed under the Facebook ‘BSD-plus-Patents’ license, the report added.