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All content by Kyle E. Mitchell, who is not your lawyer.

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November 10, 2019

MulanPSLa new riff on the Apache patent bargain from China

A Chinese consortium, apparently working together as part of a “Cloud Computing and Big Data Open Source Community Ecosystem” initiative, has published a new open software license, MulanPSL, in Chinese and English.

The big story is the patent defensive termination language:

If you or your Affiliates directly or indirectly (including through an agent, patent licensee or assignee), institute patent litigation (including a cross claim or counterclaim in a litigation) or other patent enforcement activities against any individual or entity by alleging that the Software or any Contribution in it infringes patents, then any patent license granted to you under this License for the Software shall terminate as of the date such litigation or activity is filed or taken.

From a machine translation of their FAQ:

Restrictions on user patent rights

  1. The user and its associated entities initiate a patent litigation directly against the licensed software, and the patent license is terminated;

  2. initiate non-litigation rights protection (such as administrative rights protection) patent license termination;

  3. through the indirect way to implement the above behavior, the patent license is terminated

They list #1 as a feature of Apache 2.0, but not #2 or #3.

Overall, MulanPSL is clearly Apache 2.0-inspired, addressing specific patent concerns, and otherwise streamlining. MulanPSL omits Apache 2.0’s more annoying conditions, like NOTICES file support and change notices, as well as its express language on additional warranties and related indemnity.

Links to a couple Google Translate translations of other parts of the license website:


Thanks to Boris Mann for mentioning the new license on licensefarm.com.

Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome by e-mail.

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