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Apache Incorporates 61

Progman writes "The Apache Group today announced the creation of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), read their press release. " It seems as though Apache is formally incorporated now, and the ASF will be a legal umbrella for Apache and other projects. Congrats to Brian and all the others!
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Apache Incorporates

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder how this will affect corporate acceptance of Apache? Also, it's pretty ironic that the announcement came on the same day as the FreshMeat article on Microsoft's web server strategy.

    I'm all for this. I will do everything I can to interject Apache (and Linux) everywhere I can...

    Sorry, too lazy to log in...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It says he works for Microsoft. But he previously worked for C2NET. He's working on Windows Scripting Host for Windows 2000.
  • I would be shocked if anything of the sort occured. Can a nonprofit even go public? (What's the point? Who would be interested in the stock of a company not wanting to make money?)
  • See members [].

    Actually this is not true, only individuals can be members, and if you follow the link to the particular individuals home page [], it claim that he works for c2net []. Maybe it is a joke.

  • Be a whole lot easier this time, as there would be a presedent set..
  • It seems like every open source project is going commercial or incorporating. Witness Sendmail, Inc., Artifex (Ghostscript), Red Hat (sort of), our beloved Slashdot, and now Apache.

    I wonder if this won't later be considered a milestone in the development of Open Source as a threat to proprietary software.

  • I guess you weren't around yesterday?
    Slashdot was acquired by []
  • Since they have incorporated as a non-profit orgainization does that mean they cannot take the company public with an IPO? Anyone who really knows the answer please reply.
  • But hypothetically, if the investors wanted to stifle competition (something I'm sure a certain company in Redmond would like to do but at present wouldn't dare), buying the non-profit organization could be a very good thing. Of course, M$ buying Apache would do absolutely no good as we already have existing copies of it laying around.
  • Yes, looks like everybody is getting acquired now :-) Well, did anybody notice that Apache's site was NOT Slashdotted?

    /* Steinar */
  • Yes, a nonprofit can go public. An interesting side-effect is that to accomplish this, a (sometimes new) comercial entity has to purchase the assests of the nonprofit. The comercial entity raises capital and buys out the nonprofit. The money paid to the nonprofit has to be disbursed in a fashion appropriate for a nonprofit; it cannot be turned over to the comercial entity.

    This is how UUNET was started oh-so-long-ago. The money paid to the nonprofit UUNET by the for-profit UUNET was used to fund various free/open software efforts a 8-10 years ago (such as "nvi").
  • Looks heavily funded by IBM? Their non-so-secret strategy against Microsoft? Of course, eventually someone will not like the direction that the Apache group is going and will create a new distribution (ala Linux) with a different aim. Not that is bad, it will be interesting to see where it goes...
  • well a structure was defenitely needs. somewhere we needs to have business structural pillars, ASF could be considered as one of those.

    i guess only time will tell how many more will crop up.

    slashdot could be next - ??????
  • One David attacking one Goliath might be able to win with one stone, but several thousand Davids with several thousand stones against one Goliath presents much better odds in Davids' (the plural possessive...) favor.

    We've seen where Apache and Samba need to work to combat the recent series of benchmarks, now let's get to work.
  • However, since Apache is privately owned (ie has not stock to sell) a takeover is not possible (of course, Apache could sell out, but I doubt it).

    Also, I beleive that if Apache started charging for its software anyone could take the existing code base (BSD isn't it?) and redistribute it for free (much like a Linux distro). Then again, I'm not really familiar with the BSD - I'm more of a GPL person. Anyone care to confirm this?
  • by jabber ( 13196 ) on Wednesday June 30, 1999 @08:09AM (#1824703) Homepage
    In the previous 'full frontal assault on Apache' article, the current top posting ( 254&cid=26) makes some excellent points. One being that MS can try and squash Apache, as it is not a corp...

    Makes me wonder if this maneuver, then, is not intended to secure some legal protection against preditory behavior by M$...

    Anyone familiar enough with legalize to lend some creedence to this?
  • now take redmond on.....
  • From the very brief look I had, it looks like it could be a usefull link. Thanks.

    Now, next time, just copy it once , will you?

  • Right, Non-Profit == No Owners / No Stock == No IPO. Where normal corporations are controlled by a board elected by stockholders, non-profit boards are usually either elected by the organization's members or by themselves.
  • A few weeks ago, a lotus guy told me that IBM had bought apache patents or something so that they can use the Apache server for some of their products.

    Well I just found it rather... hard to believe. But maybe there is some moves in the shadows ?

    Hey ! don't tell IBM bought Apache or something. I just repeat something that was told to me by someone who was told by someone... you know the story...

    So right now it is just a rumour, and anyone who propagate the rumour without any fact, so he be blamed ! (I do not want to see /. beeing accused of propagating *false* rumours... only *true* rumours must be told here ;-D)
  • The level of paranoia here is amazing.

    Just because apache is incorporating doesn't mean they are on their path to becoming a big bad corporation. It doesn't mean an IPO is around the corner or any of that.

    They are incorporating as a non-profit. This is not necessarily a good or a bad thing, but it does mean that people are doing what it takes to get to the next level.

    Some of the outcomes I see.

    1. It becomes easier for commercial companies to contribute. They may be able to write their cash and in kind contributions off on their taxes. At the very least, it should make their accounting a bit more straightforward.

    2. It also makes it easier to take cash contributions. The ASF can take cash and do their own hiring, rather than working with donated time.

    There are bad things that can happen as well, but they could happen anyway, so I am not going to bother listing them.
  • If Apache is incorporating, it means that it can IPO at a later date. If Apache IPOs, it can be gobbled up by IBM or Microsoft or have itself controlled by its shareholders. Also, Apache incorporating hints to a future time at which Apache won't be free anymore. The Apache Group should be set up as an organization but not as a corporation.
  • It states that it is a non profit corporation. I don't think many inverstors would really want to buy a chunk of a non profit organization. It kind of goes against what investments are all about :)
  • On one side: This sorta shows that Open Source projects like Apache and I might as well include Slashdot in this, are being taken more seriously with this kind of business backbone. Maybe opensource projects needs business to grow beyond hacker projects. Gee, there are many examples already: Debian and the SPI; Gnome and International Gnome Support; Linux and all them corporate big shots. Now apache and slashdot can be included in this.

    Then on the other: Kind of scary all these businesses looking to make money off of opensource projects. It has become known that makeing consumers happy is not as important as consumer lock in and incompatability in the software industry. While opensource software relies heavily on standards, I don't see it impossible that business makes Apache propietary (with no source) at some point in the future.

    I have no idea if this is necessary or not. Just seems to me a lot of people want to make money where it wasn't much of a factor before.

    (Yeah, I know this reply is unfocused. I am not really with it right now for some reason.)


  • Hey now, on /. we don't start rumors... we spread 'em :)
  • Of course, eventually someone will not like the direction that the Apache group is going and will create a new distribution (ala Linux) with a different aim.

    I don't think that this will actually affect Apache development in any way, the code will remain under the BSD license.

    Rather, the ASF [] was obviously formed to create a supporting organization for Apache and its sister projects (mod_perl, PHP, ...)

    So in effect it is much like the Free Software Foundation [] and Software in the Public Interest []. It just hasn't got its nonprofit status yet.


  • Then on the other: Kind of scary all these businesses looking to make money off of opensource projects. It has become known that makeing consumers happy is not as important as consumer lock in and incompatability in the software industry. While opensource software relies heavily on standards, I don't see it impossible that business makes Apache propietary (with no source) at some point in the future.

    Open source changes the rules of software business. Specifically, it destroys software as a business. It promotes service as a business.

    When you guarantee to show your source, it is hard to make a proprietary protocol. Others can see it and reimplement it. The only lock in you will get is the lock in of having the plain old best product.

  • By the way, BIND and INN (the main, open, news server) are supported by the same group of people, and yes, there is talk that they'll form a company to provide support for their free products (BIND and INN).

    I don't think you need to fear the lack of free development growing into something bigger, it will just acknowledge that there is money to be made supporting that free product, and move on to it.

    Isn't that the goal the open source movement has anyway? Free software, with development being supported by those using it, either through direct development, or by payment for support?

  • Has anyone else noticed this acronym? This is the file extension/designation for M$ Advanced Streaming Format. I hope this doesn't give M$ a leg up to sue Apache into the ground.

    Of course, they could be big about it and let their competitors run free.....

    And Open Source Windows......

    And Open all document formats......
  • That's what you get when you neglect to check Slashdot every single day. Slashdot has already been acquired by
  • With Apache incorporating, Sendmail gone corp last year, Mozilla a flop, Linux splintering into different distributions catching up with Red Hat (yes yes, flame me for that...), what's left that is a major force on the 'Net, yet still run non-corporate? Elm? BIND? NNTP? How long until the NNTP folks form

    We are hitting the third generation of the 'Net here, folks. The game is no longer the garage. The new rule is to incorporate as a defensive, rather than offensive move, it seems. (I find it funny that on the same day /. reports MS will attack Apache, /. also reports that Apache is incorporating.) People are incorporating to establish their authority before Big Dogs can move in on it. I think these are just more and more ripples from the death of Netscape. That was truly a changing point in the history of the 'Net as we know it.

    [I fear this signals the end of kickass major infrastructure programs being developed mostly for free by mostly unpaid people.

    Not that I'm one to talk...]
  • IF MS includes a web browser in every Windows 2000, could this be a lead up to another antitrust suit? The US government loves to spend money, anyways.
  • I meant web server, sorry :)
  • Huh? c2net makes Stronghold. They aren't Microsoft, to the best of my knowledge. Paul publishes ApacheWeek.

    What's your point?

  • BIND and INN are developed by the Internet Software Consortium [].

    Very few large projects are being "mostly developed for free by mostly unpaid people". In many cases (and a happily increasing number), someone is paying them to work on the projects.

  • by signe ( 64498 ) on Wednesday June 30, 1999 @09:18AM (#1824724) Homepage
    I love Apache server and the whole idea, but now it makes me wonder if they are up to something to fit their new "Incorporated" status, like IPO *yucks*. Although after prisons started considering their prisoners as customers, I am no longer surprised to read about these things.

    Calm down. Everyone has customers, and it's very nice to see that the Apache folks realize who their customers are despite the fact that we don't give them any money. It's always good to see a group like this, that has given so much to the community and not asked for anything in return, and see that they understand that once you start a project like this (Apache) it takes on a life of its own and you need to keep supporting it, not drop it on the floor because it's not making you any money.

    Who are your customers? Everyone's got 'em. It's obvious if you're selling something, but that doesn't mean that just because you're not taking someone's money, that you don't have customers. If you're working on a help desk in a large organization, it might be the people that you support. If you maintain a web site (even a small one), it might be the people who view it.

    Know who your customers are. It lets you do your job better.


"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell