This sentence is quite arrogant in itself.
> If you think this was about FUD you really don't understand why people protest React as a core component inside WordPress.
Then please explain what this is about? Numerous other posts in this thread (including mine) have explained that you are strictly better off with the PATENT grant. I have yet to see a post that explains why this is bad without FUD.
> have explained that you are strictly better off with the PATENT grant
This point is irrelevant even granting the assumption that it does. You're inspecting the wording of the patent grant and gauging whether it is theoretically effective in deterring patent litigation and thereby conferring some kind of benefit to users of the software is (correct?). Well over 99.9% sites that use WordPress never have to worry about relevant patent litigation to start with, it's completely and utterly beside the point. Somehow this has blossomed into an argument that basically says 'our OSS software needs to come included with patent clauses for better protection'. It's ridiculous.
Why the FB license signals a bad fit comes from asking different questions.
Why is it there in the first place?
Because FB is a megacorp and operates like one, it is there to protect the interests of a megacorp. Not a slight on FB, but also not something we should welcome to package with every copy of our pure OSS software.
What is a consequence of non-standard clauses? Businesses and teams feel compelled to take up legal counsel. They may find that it turns out to be totally fine, as even Automattic found when it adopted React for Calypso. But others don't and the mere fact that the adoption of software is necessitating legal counsel adds an unnecessary and negative cost to choosing WordPress as a platform.
What kind of precedent does it set?
That non-standard additions to OSS licenses are fine for companies to impose. Alternatively, FB is a special case.
Does it undermine WP approach to OSS licenses and promoting these?
In WP we take no exceptions to GPL compliance and compatibility, no exceptions for obvious reasons. No business enjoys special privileges or exceptions. That's by design, WP stated goal is to democratize the web. Unstated goals mean that everybody is on equal footing, a level playing ground. You want to use WordPress? You can do so unreservedly as long as you convey the same exact freedoms that come with a GPL compatible license. No exceptions. Whether the patents clause is benign or not - it is a big fat sign that says "FB enjoys special privileges here". It complicates the picture by offering up a contradicting component by way of a non-standard clause. It introduces friction on a point where there should be no friction at all. It also encourages an ecosystem where multiple clauses are introduced with companies adding their own wordings to protect their business, it doesn't scale. No good reasons to support something that doesn't scale.
Who put the clause there?
A company that is hostile the open web, hostile to democracy, hostile to users and with a history of undermining startups while enjoying a monopoly position. It is entirely in-congruent with a world that WP wants to be in. It causes many people that use WP for whatever reason to be suspicious and wary of affiliating with or critically depending on anything this company does. That's not FUD, it's a reasonable position based on a cold hard assessment of what FB is.
But doesn't company X choosing React and determining it to be benign mean other users are worrying for nothing?
Any particular business might be fine with React, it all depends on what their project is and what their goals are. Other companies will explicitly avoid React for good reasons, some have done so on the basis of the patents clause. WP adopting core is making a decision for all people using WordPress and all future projects that would or would normally have chosen WordPress. It's a monumental decision, inviting different considerations. A platform that has pinned its success on offering something that is both free and licensed in a way to convey freedoms while working toward leveling the playing field can't just adopt a special license for all of its users merely on the basis that the software attached to the license currently leads the pack.
Everybody agrees software patents are bad, so why not embrace the patent clause?
I would guess virtually a 100% of WP users are anti-software patent. But clauses that protect corporations are not the solution.
There’s no precedent to set here. There’s already a license for BSD+PATENT, and it’s called Apache license. Is Apache setting a bad precedent as well?
Additionally, it’s not like companies licensing open source work under customized license is uncommon — tons of software do that, and Facebook is by no means the first. For example, OpenJDK customized GPL by adding a classpath exemption.
Why then, do you need to give Facebook special treatment, and make this look like a dangerous slippery slope? Oh yeah, because Facebook is a evil megacorp that’s “hostile to the open web”. How is this, as part of a discussion about the license, “completely and utterly pointless”?
This whole argument could be summarized into we want GPL, react’s license is not GPL (“In WP we take no exceptions to GPL compliance”). That’s it. Instead, you have to point to supposedly evil motives behind putting the PATENT file there, and yes, I’ll say it, using not-so-true arguments to spread FUD and perform a character assassination. It’s ridiculous.
I don't understand how anyone complaining about the FB patent grant could honestly bet the farm on any implicit grants in BSD/MIT style licenses. The only logical conclusion if you're that scared of patents is to avoid anything without an explicit patent grant, i.e. sticking to Apache, GPL and friends.
That comparison is incorrect because the termination clauses are different. The patent license under Apache only terminates if you sue about the specific patents covering the software. By contrast, the Facebook patent license terminates if you sure Facebook (or an affiliate -- who is that?) over any patent whatsoever (including patents not covering the software, such as unrelated patents you own and which Facebook is infringing willfully because they know you dependent on React in your products).
> > This point is irrelevant even granting the assumption that it does. You're inspecting the wording of the patent grant and gauging whether it is theoretically effective in deterring patent litigation and thereby conferring some kind of benefit to users of the software is (correct?).
You are also talking about the irrelevant stuff here.
I have no doubt Apache is a better license. But what Facebook is doing is by no means something new.
> Instead, you have to point to supposedly evil motives behind putting the PATENT file there
No where do I imply FB has evil motives for instituting the patent clause, nor do I hold FB to account for putting it there, I don't even dispute in any particular way that it deters patent litigation (at least not for FB), nor do I speculate FB will use the clause offensively. It's their choice and it's reasonable from their point of view. It's a big corporation doing things in a big corporation way.
> perform a character assassination
I think you've assassinated my above comment. What I've stated here about FB is not unreasonable or unfair. It's very odd that you would feel the need to defend a corporation as if you are describing a person (character assassination?). Tell me what is factually incorrect about the way I've described FB here? It matters what effect this corporation has on the wider ecosystem. Corporations of that nature behave in a way to maximize their own interests. This is not a commentary on its developers or even their legal team, it's just acknowledging FB for what it is.
> we want GPL, react’s license is not GPL (“In WP we take no exceptions to GPL compliance”)
It's rather ironic that you took issue to my earlier comment calling out an ignorant and arrogant notion, then make several of your own. The assumption that this is about being hard line about one variation of an OSS license obscures the fundamental objections here (why leave out the fact that I referred to "compatibility", which many licenses are). I have no special affinity for GPL, nor do most others in WP. It's a license that conveys certain freedoms and levels the playing field, this is all I care about.
The 'no exceptions' is a simple first principle in play in the WP ecosystem that acknowledges that all parties should be party to the same conditions in order the obtain the maximal benefit for all users. The WP community has been fairly aggressive in doing that and it has paid off in a big way. Over time there's been some push back from some individual companies wanting to license things in their own more restrictive way (thereby taking away freedoms from other users). Some businesses were resistant about that thinking it would undermine profits, but this has proven to be false. In fact very few companies operating in the WP space use complicated licenses even where it is perfectly kosher (a split license on CSS is fine but hardly used by theme developers for example). This has done great things for the ecosystem, almost all themes & plugins and apps have a simple to understand license that provides great freedoms - everybody benefits.
This is a nuance that might not be grasped when people are just looking at the patent clause in a vacuum, but the way we've pressured compliance has been possible on the basis that no company is a special snowflake, everybody gets to play by the same rules. Putting React in core dents our ability to reason on that basis (this not a unanimous opinion but lack of unanimity to the contrary undermines WP reputation on this issue irregardless).
The fact that they happen to be a “evil megacorp” should not change this at all.