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From Chip Childers <>
Subject Re: [CONFIG FILES] License headers
Date Fri, 21 Sep 2012 19:41:19 GMT
On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 3:17 PM, Chip Childers
<> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM, Joe Brockmeier <> wrote:
>> On Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 01:53 PM, Chiradeep Vittal wrote:
>>> There is a long list of blocker bugs [1] regarding the configuration
>>> files checked in to the repository. Some of the bugs ask that the Apache
>>> License header be inserted into the config file if it is indeed resolved
>>> as "written specifically for CloudStack".
>>> My question is whether this is necessary —
>>>  1.  Almost all configuration files in the universe do not have a license
>>>  header, this seems to break convention
>>>  2.  It may make it harder to compare CloudStack configurations with
>>>  "stock" configuration files
>> If we want to be extra-cautious without putting undue noise in the
>> configuration files, could we simply put something in the NOTICE file
>> like this?
>> "Configuration files for third-party programs written specifically for
>> distribution with Apache CloudStack are provided under the Apache
>> Software License 2.0"
>> or
>> "Configuration files for third-party programs written specifically for
>> distribution with Apache CloudStack are not considered to be under
>> copyright. You may use, modify, and distribute those files without
>> restriction."
>> The second would be my preference as I am of the opinion configuration
>> files are not expressive works, but data and should not be encumbered by
>> copyright. Of course, I'm not a lawyer, so my opinion is just that -
>> opinion - and not legal guidance. (It *does* seem to be the pervasive
>> view with most FOSS communities, though.)
>> Best,
>> Joe
>> --
>> Joe Brockmeier
>> Twitter: @jzb
> Joe, that's a pretty reasonable approach.  I'm not sure which of the
> two specific options I'd prefer, but I think that we might have to
> cover it via ASL.  Any others have an opinion?

OK, so I went to look at both Apache HTTP server and Hadoop for
examples of "config" files.

They seem to be doing things like this:
1 - if it's a script (init script or otherwise), the ASF license
header seems to be included
2 - if it's purely key/value or structured "data" configuration files,
the ASF license header isn't being included

If we go with those two projects as examples, and only for those files
that we "own", the key/values files can be excluded from the header
requirement.  However, files with script logic should include it.

Again though, just my opinion and INAL!


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