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From "Geir Magnusson Jr." <ge...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Derby code copyright question
Date Sun, 26 Sep 2004 16:51:01 GMT
As a director of the ASF, I will be working to fix this problem,  
starting with Derby.  The fact that we have possibly been doing things  
incorrectly in the past is something to be discussed, but immaterial to  
Derby and projects going forward.

I would like to see formal assignment of copyright to the ASF happen.   
The concept of (c) completely held by the ASF is what distinguishes us  
from pretty much everything else out there.  W/o that, I don't believe  
that we can relicense anything, as an example, without a specific  
side-agreement from each contributor for which a (c) is in the license  
or notice file.  That's an administrative headache I'm not interested  

more inline.

On Sep 26, 2004, at 11:37 AM, Daniel John Debrunner wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
>> On Sep 24, 2004, at 10:27 PM, Jennifer B Machovec wrote:
>> Traditionally, the only time we distribute code under someone else's
>> copyright is when we are including other works as a convenience for  
>> our
>> users, such as packaging something in a distribution.  Otherwise, we
>> tend not to host projects owned by other entities.  Sourceforge is  
>> good
>> for that.
> Incorrect.

Not "Incorrect".  Show me software in the ASF that is not (c) ASF,  
besides standard APIs or such.  We may have attributed (c) ASF by  
mistake, or incorrectly, but it is all (c) ASF except for inclusions of  
outside works for packaging convenience.

> Individual CLAs do not assign copyright to ASF, only a copyright
> licence. Thus ASF is all the time distributing code that it does not
> hold the copyright on. Code is distributed under a licence, the ASL for
> projects at ASF, not a copyright.

I'm familiar with the details of the issue, and understand the  

> See Roy's e-mail on the general@incubator.apache.org list
> http://nagoya.apache.org/eyebrowse/ReadMsg? 
> listName=general@incubator.apache.org&msgNo=4143
> For corporate initial code contributions (software grants) to ASF (like
> Derby & Beehive) I'm not sure if it's common to assign copyright to ASF
> or not. The generic software grant agreement at
> http://www.apache.org/licenses/software-grant.txt does not assign
> copyright to ASF.

As it's an oversight, we'll fix it.

> As Noel has said, this copyright issue is not specific to Derby.
> Derby has indirectly raised the issue that those copyright ASF
> statements in other ASF projects may actually be incorrect, and thus
> cause potential legal problems for the ASF in the future. They may be
> incorrect because ASF does not hold copyright on the code, therefore  
> why
> is it copyright ASF? A possibly correct claim is that ASF holds
> copyright on the collection of contributions that make up a project.

That certainly is a correct claim, but I'm interested in us holding the  
(c) for any part of the collective work that we distribute that is  
sourced at the ASF.


> Derby is being distributed under the ASL v2 and will be like other ASF
> projects in that copyright will be held by a number of parties.

Well, it's not being distributed yet.  I see no reason why the (c) in  
this case can't be held by the ASF - all IBM has to do is assign  
copyright.  If IBM is not inclined to do that, I'd like to see them  
formally state that, so we can stop spending time on this.

> Going with the ASF holds copyright on the collection that is the
> project, we have a proposed comment in each file that is as follows.  
> For
> some reason that I don't understand Roy seem to object to this and the
> proposed notice file contents, though it may have been due to the
> addition of the term "All rights reserved" (which I do not believe we  
> need).

That's exactly why, but I'll push further and suggest that IBM shall  
simply assign copyright to the ASF.


Geir Magnusson Jr                                  +1-203-665-6437

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