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From Paul Davis <>
Subject Re: Apache Maven/Maven repo (Re: Dependencies in SVN)
Date Mon, 10 Aug 2009 05:33:37 GMT
> The ASF develops and distributes code licensed under the ASL.  An ASF
> project can depend on software written on other licenses, but distributing
> or developing software under different licenses is somewhere between
> atypical and prohibited.  I think any exception would have to be granted by
> the board.

I've never seen anything when reading through the ASF docs on
licensing that would indicate including external dependencies is
'somewhere between atypical and prohibited'. Links [1-3] that describe
the general intent and some specifics on license compatibility never
seem to mention in either direction what can or can not be included in
SVN. Links [4-5] are both discussions on legal-discuss about including
non-ASL compatible code in SVN to which the answer is somewhat hazy
which I find quite surprising if including ASL-compatible code is
atypical or prohibited. And to keeping these specifics in the
distribution, each dependency is under a Class A compatible license
which by reading [2] and [3] to lead me to believe that they are all
completely kosher.

Quoting from [6] which was the thread you started on incubator-general@

Niclas Hedhman wrote in response to you:
> 2. Speaking from a legal perspective, there is nothing "at Apache" that
> prevents people for doing source code copy, in small or large (a.k.a forks),
> PROVIDED that the license allows it. I saw you mentioning BSD (modified I
> hope) and MIT X, and those licenses require attribution and few other
> things, so if that is done, there is no legal contention here. Now you said
> that Apache doesn't fork... well the reason behind that (I think) is that we
> are all lazy, it takes a lot of energy to maintain forks. And we don't do it
> to compete with the original project, out of courtesy... is that your
> complaint?

which would also lend to my interpretation so far that there is
nothing wrong with including the dependencies.

But perhaps I've missed something. If you could provide me a link to
an email discussion or something in the legal documentation that would
help me understand what the underlying issues are I would be most


Paul J. Davis

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