I noticed today that one of my sites returned 403 Access denied on various pages with URLs like
format/<foo>, although it was an alias for a
taxonomy/term/<tid> taxonomy path which was actually available when not aliased. What could be going on ?
It turned out that this issue is caused by the
patch introduced in
DRUPAL-6-7 to protect various VCS paths.
That patch introduced by this issue modifies the
FilesMatch clause to match on
^format$ (for SVN), which causes any path containing the
format string to be denied, causing that problem. Which gives the solution if this is a problem for you: either modify the relavant
FilesMatch clause or rename every path containing
format on your site.
Note that this specific subpattern has been rolled back and reworked after
DRUPAL-7-0-ALPHA2, so Drupal 7 does not have this problem.