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From Dalibor Topic <robi...@kaffe.org>
Subject Re: SableVM? -- ICLA details
Date Fri, 24 Mar 2006 21:46:12 GMT
On Fri, Mar 24, 2006 at 12:05:11PM -0800, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> Geir Magnusson Jr wrote:
> >
> >
> >Geir Magnusson Jr wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>Dalibor Topic wrote:
> >>>Leo Simons wrote:
> >>>
> >>>>>, that that can
> >>>>>lead to no end of confusion over the actual license of a VM using
> >>>>>modules from Harmony, if the SableVM developer believes to have a

> >>>>>say in
> >>>>>it.
> >>>>
> >>>>No I would say that it cannot, since that sablevm developer would at

> >>>>a minimum
> >>>>have licensed the software under the apache license to apache, and 
> >>>>then apache
> >>>>would have licensed that software to the end user under the apache 
> >>>>license, and
> >>>>what that means is rather clear.
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>It's not clear at all to me from reading the ASL2, so let's spell it 
> >>>out: Would such a hypothetical developer have a say in the license of 
> >>>a VM using Harmony's modules or not? Cliff?
> >>
> >>No.
> >
> >I thought about this for a second more - the apache license is a license 
> > from each contributor of their contribution to the licensee, so I would 
> >guess that yes, any contributor could hypothetically have a say on what 
> >a licensee does w/in the boundaries of their contribution.
> 
> no, hold it, this is not true. Once you give a perpetual license, you 
> can't revoke it. If you own some code, you can relicense it under 
> different conditions, but since the license that you had before was a 
> OSI license it gives other the ability to fork.
> 
> >I dunno.  I am not a lawyer, and I'm really tired :)
> 
> The ability to fork is what saves users from copyright holders going 
> wacko and changing the license in 'less then open source'.
> 
> Which means that you might own some code, but you don't own its usage 
> dynamics once you enter an OSI/free-software licensing scheme.

We're all in violent agreement here. 

My past discussions on the subject with Etienne Gagnon and to some 
extent Gregorz Prokopski lead me to believe that they did up to a few 
weeks ago believe to own the usage dynamics of their code, i.e. held 
running (for example) ASF's software on GPL'd VMs to be copyright 
infringement if such VMs linked to more liberally (i.e. LGPL, 
GPL+linking exception, ASLv2, BSD, ...) licensed code they held 
copyrights to.

That was the reason we avoided mixing our code in the past.

If Etienne and Grzegorz now indeed interpret the ASL2's provisions 
regarding the boundaries of what consititutes a derivative work in the 
same way as we do, i.e. linking to a module does not cause the code to 
be a derivative work, i.e. no shared copyright outside the part 
contributed to the ASF, then that's excellent news. 

I would love to be able to link to Etienne's and Grzegorz's code in 
Apache Harmony without exposing my users to ligitation risks, or claims
that they are doing something illegal by running ant or Eclipse on 
their VM.

> 
> If not, hell, it would be a perpetual lock-in situation.
> 
> So, in short:
> 
>  1) the ASF is not asking for copyright transfer, so "submarine 
> copyright holders" are all over the place (I'm one too, I own code in so 
> many java projects I can't even count them, and I wasn't working for 
> anybody so that is definitely my code).
> 
>  2) not having ownership simplifies donations and guarantees the 
> ability for the author to do whatever he/she pleases with the code even 
> after it was donated.
> 
>  3) not having ownership does not effect the ability for the ASF to 
> create successful and perpetual open development efforts around such 
> code. The owner cannot stop the ASF from continuing the effort unless it 
> violates the contract that was signed with the CLA. Given the broad 
> spectrum of rights that the CLA gives to the ASF.
> 
>  4) copyright statements and giving credits are two different things 
> and I think it's wise to keep them separate.
> 
>  5) the ASF considers it a moral obligation to give credit when due, 
> not a contractual one. In 10 years, Etienne is the only one who had a 
> problem with this. It is reasonable for him to ask for such an 
> obligation to be contractual and not just moral, yet it is also 
> reasonable (and predictable) for some ASF members to feel insulted by 
> such a request.
> 

I think it is a very reasonable request, as long as the intent is to
ensure that credit is given where credit is due. Etienne has done
excellent work on SableVM, and I can understand that he wants to that
work to be recognized.

If Etienne can confirm that it's all that there is to it, and claims no 
copyright on VMs linking to modules containing SableVM code in the 
Harmony repository, then we are done in this thread, I think.

cheers,
dalibor topic

> -- 
> Stefano.
> 

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