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From robert burrell donkin <>
Subject Re: Relicensing to the Apache License 2.0 ?
Date Tue, 03 Feb 2004 19:08:08 GMT
On 3 Feb 2004, at 11:37, Emmanuel Bourg wrote:


> As i read the CLA and the software grant agreement the ASF doesn't own 
> the code, it's just a license agreement and not a copyright transfert. 
> That means the ASF is granted by the copyright holder the right to 
> "reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly 
> perform, distribute and sublicense" the code, that's most of the 
> rights of the copyright holder except the right to register the work 
> to the Copyright Office and the right to claim copyright and sue for 
> infringements.
> I think it's interesting to compare this situation with the Mozilla 
> relicensing. While Netscape was entitled to relicense the work of its 
> employees (as the ASF is allowed to relicense the work of the 
> contributors who signed the CLA), they spent a significant time 
> hunting  down every non-netscape contributor to request the permission 
> to relicense their code. IMHO the relicensing to the Apache License 
> 2.0 is a similar case.

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.

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 

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 

there ain't nobody here but us chickens ;)

- robert

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