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From Emmanuel Bourg <>
Subject Re: Relicensing to the Apache License 2.0 ?
Date Wed, 04 Feb 2004 17:51:03 GMT
robert burrell donkin wrote:

> these days, who knows. good, old fashioned, reasonable, understandable 
> copyright law is turning into intellectual property law. the ASF is 
> governed by US law which is case-based. so until cases have passed 
> through the courts, it's purely a matter of one legal opinion against 
> another. for a proper answer, the best advice must be: ask your question 
> to the best lawyer you can afford.

That sounds more reasonable to investigate now than relicensing without 
asking and waiting for someone to sue and settle this issue later. I 
doubt an external contributor would refuse to relicense its work under 
the new license and bring this to a court though, but that doesn't spare 

> but (from what i know of) the ASF they have always claimed that the 
> copyright ownership of code donated to the ASF and then used in their 
> software products is vested with them. the ASF does have access to legal 
> advice and i for one am willing to believe that this advice is better 
> than any speculations on my part (or the others i know on this list).

I don't know if i'm speculating but the Apache documentation seems quite 

"In all cases, contributors retain full rights to use their original 
contributions for any other purpose outside of Apache while providing 
the ASF and its projects the right to distribute and build upon their 
work within Apache."

"2. You hereby grant to the Foundation a non-exclusive, irrevocable, 
worldwide, no-charge, transferable copyright license to use, execute, 
prepare derivative works of, and distribute (internally and externally, 
in object code and, if included in your Contributions, source code form) 
your Contributions.  Except for the rights granted to the Foundation in 
this paragraph, You reserve all right, title and interest in and to your 

The ASF is granted enough rights to work with the contribution, but the 
ownership is not transfered.

> if you have any further concerns relating to possible ASF claims may i 
> politely suggest that you take them to a more appropriate forums where 
> those with authority to speak for the ASF will be able to provide goods 
> answer.

What mailing list could be contacted to address this concern?

Emmanuel Bourg

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