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From Benson Margulies <bimargul...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: What is the legal basis for enforcing release policies at ASF?
Date Thu, 20 Aug 2015 16:26:45 GMT
On Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 12:16 PM, Marvin Humphrey
<marvin@rectangular.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 7:23 AM, Benson Margulies <bimargulies@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 9:52 AM, Jim Jagielski <jim@jagunet.com> wrote:
>>> Coming in late.
>>>
>>> A snapshot is not a release. Licenses "kick in" at distribution/
>>> release.
>>
>> Are you sure? When you have a public source control repo, with a
>> LICENSE file at the top, I would think that this counts as a legal
>> 'publication' under the terms of the license.
>>
>> if not, just what is the legal status of source code snipped from our
>> repositories?
>
> I agree with Jim that "a snapshot is not a release".  I also agree with him
> that licenses "kick in" at distribution.  As to whether they kick in at
> "distribution/release", I think that's a weird bit of wording, and I would be
> surprised if we are not all in agreement here.

I'm sorry if my original message was unclear. I didn't mean to comment
or question the dictum that 'a snapshot is not a release'.  The
Foundation offers specific legal protections to releases that it does
not offer to anything else.

However, a quick search reveals that there are precisely zero
occurrences of the word 'release' in version 2.0 of the Apache
License.

So, I don't know what Jim meant by 'licenses kick in at release', but
my view is that putting source in a public Subversion server or git
repo is a publication in the legal sense, and that the Foundation
grants the Apache license to that content, since we nowhere
communicate that we grant some other (lack of) license until the point
of release. To me, the plain sense of Jim's phrase is that, somehow,
the AL does not apply until there's a release, and I can't make heads
or tails of that.

>
> There were long threads on this topic back in 2007-2009 on
> legal-discuss@apache.
>
>     http://markmail.org/message/jangmpbssvvd73az
>     http://s.apache.org/6Wm
>
>     http://markmail.org/message/xietapwmthvvknex
>     http://s.apache.org/H6o
>
> Here's are a couple germane points from Roy:
>
>     http://markmail.org/message/vbfjep4r2npkwufa
>     http://s.apache.org/aXK
>
>         Copyright law has no concept of software development. So, when a
>         lawyer looks at
>
>             http://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/httpd/httpd/trunk/
>
>         what the lawyer (or even layperson) sees is a website.
>
>     http://markmail.org/message/44ezdre3se3ov5nu
>     http://s.apache.org/MEC
>
>         > SVN is not a distribution point.
>
>         Of course it is a distribution point. Distribution == copy to someone
>         else. It isn't a release (an editorial decision by the ASF).
>
> Marvin Humphrey

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