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From J Aaron Farr <fa...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Breaking the Silence - Future of Merlin/Metro
Date Sun, 03 Oct 2004 16:10:05 GMT
Niclas Hedhman wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I have been busy behind the scenes, working out the final steps with the 
> Board. All the kudos to Stefano Mazzocchi for his patience and perseverence 
> in this matter, despite a very busy schedule privately and within the ASF.
> Here is the *intent*;

The intent is good and I agree with it.  Let's see about making sure we 
don't trip on any details.

One initial thought: public domain has generally not been recommended 
due to potential liability issues.  That is, even the most basic open 
source license disclaims any implied warranty.  That might be important 
to the new Metro project.  Or it might not.  This is where getting some 
legal advice might be appropriate.

> Issue; The Board can not release the codebase to the Public Domain, as it does 
> not own it. It *can* and is willing to grant an even more liberal license for 
> some legal entity, an organization or an individual. That license would 
> approve that the ASL is removed from the code. However, Copyright ownership 
> must then be re-established in the said work, and not compatible with our 
> upcoming strategy of Public Domain software.
> Proposed Solution; The Board is not made part of the active process. The owner 
> of the Copyright can release/disclaim the ownership and place the codebase 
> into the Public Domain. AFAIU, that would then supercede the CLA, as the work 
> then no longer has any ownership, incl the contributor's.

Disclaimer: IANAL

The CLA states:

2. Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms and conditions of
    this Agreement, You hereby grant to the Foundation and to
    recipients of software distributed by the Foundation a perpetual,
    worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable
    copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of,
    publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute Your
    Contributions and such derivative works.

Which means we as copyright owners cannot revoke our license grant to 
the ASF (ie- we can't remove it from the ASF).  However, we can grant an 
additional license that either makes the work public domain (I think) or 
grants a license to the new DPML group (this I know is okay).  This 
should be reviewed by someone with a better understanding of 
intellectual property.

> Issue; Each piece of code written is *owned* by the original contributor, and 
> he/she *must* explicitly disclaim that ownership, for it to go to the Public 
> Domain.
> Proposed Solution; We will identify each contributor throughout the said 
> codebase, and ask for such release of their work to the Public Domain. IF 
> someone does not want to do this, that piece of contribution will be removed 
> and the consequences will be dealt with later outside the ASF. Initial 
> non-conclusive inventory shows the following people outside the initiating 
> group being involved;
>   - akarasulu, Alex Karasulu
>   - cziegeler, Carsten Ziegeler
>   - farra,  Aaron Farr
>   - hammett,  Hamilton Verissimo de Oliveira
>   - leosimons,  Leo Simons

+1 for being cooperative.

> Issue; There is an additional related concern that CVS moves has erased 
> history and that there is code that has been copied from older Avalon 
> packages, to new locations, either in full (not too hard) or as snippets.
> Proposed Solution; We know where such code comes from, and would like to 
> extend the request for release to the Public Domain for such parts, from 
> these contributors. Without pinpointing the exact pieces, we don't know at 
> this point who the additional contributors are, but we can expect that the 
> following, among others, will surface;

What about patches submitted over the mailing list from users?

> I think we can have something much more solid in a week - and that be part of 
> a bigger announcement - for the moment we simply want to get the news out 
> that something big is happening.

Thank you for your efforts on this.


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