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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: SUMMARY [ was Re: [LAW] Quick Lesson in Copyright Law (was RE: copyright for docs [was: Re: [Bugs] URLSource])
Date Tue, 21 May 2002 15:01:16 GMT
First of all, I'm not a lawyer and I know everything I know about these 
issues becaues I've been watching legal battles over 
and which are, unfortunately but for good reasons, 
closed lists.

I'll try to shed some light on this.

Diana Shannon wrote:
 > Here's my current understanding.
 > 1.  contrib.xml makes the distinction between "core" and "optional"
 > contributions of source code via patches supplied by non-committers.
 > Core source code contributions must have copyright assigned to Apache.
 > Optional contributions do not. Contributions of documentation are not
 > discussed.

Yes, this is clearly a bug in the process and it's a good thing you are 
bringing this up.

 > 2. The Contributor License Agreement page
 > ( states that
 > contributions from committers, not non-committers, are governed by
 > licenses, not copyright assignments.
 > How should we extend this language to cover non-committer contributions
 > of documentation?

The Apache License 2.0 will cover both the 'outward' (read: you get the 
stuff) and the 'inward' (read: you donate your stuff) flows.

If a project adopts this license, it is enough to state that everything 
that is hosted on CVS must be covered by this license and everything 
will be set, because simply by submitting your stuff as a donation, you 
agree to a number of things.

Until this license is out, we have to fix the current process.

 > a. If you extend the "spirit" of contrib.xml to documentation, then the
 > decision (license or assignment) is based on how "core" or "optional"
 > you consider the documentation.

I would personally suggest to remove such difference between "core" and 

 > b. If you extend the "spirit" of the Contributor License Agreement, then
 > non-committer contributions should be governed by licensing also, not
 > assignment. Why should it be more restrictive?
 > IMO, both approaches suggest licensing, not assignment. In other words,
 > contributors of documentation in the form of patches must agree to
 > provide Apache a "non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, no-charge,
 > transferable copyright license to use, execute, prepare derivative works
 > of, and distribute ... " for their contributions. I don't see why
 > assignment is necessary. In fact, licensing may create more incentives
 > for would-be authors, because it allows more opportunities for their
 > work to be published. This doesn't hurt, in fact, it helps advance 
 > If you agree, I'll update contrib.xml (and other author docs) to reflect
 > that understanding. If this is incorrect, then please advise.

I agree with this.

In short, you give a copy of your work to us and allow us to do anything 
we want from it (but stealing your credits, of course). Then you can 
still do whatever you want with the copy you donated.

Is this ok for you?

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                           able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche

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