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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: SableVM? -- ICLA details
Date Fri, 24 Mar 2006 19:49:14 GMT
Dalibor Topic wrote:

> Having 
> submarine copyright holders on VMs using Harmony's VM modules or class 
> libraries would be a pretty bad thing.


FYI, *NO* ASF is immune for what you call "submarine copyright holders". 
The ASF does not have records of all the copyright holders of the 
software it distributes. I would also venture to say that the ASF does 
*NOT* own any code at all, since it never paid anybody to write any code 
nor asked for copyright transfer.

This was a very very very cautious decision and quite a clever one, if 
you ask me: the copyright remains of the respective owners.

Just like for Kaffe, the IP trail of any ASF project is not trivial to 
reconstruct, but this doesn't matter because:

  a) all code is licensed under the same license

  b) the ASF was given the right to relicense via the CLAs

Copyright law was not designed for "sharing" but for copy protection. 
But when you give a "license" you are reducing some of that protection. 
The fact that you still "own" a piece of intellectual property is 
completely ineffective if you have given enough rights to the users to 
modify, change, redistribute and, in case of the ASF, relicense.

Etienne identified an issue with this scheme: the ICLA gives the ASF 
enough power to relicense his code without having to put his name on it, 
even if he still maintains the copyright of (part of) it.

The ASF states "Copyright ASF and its licensors, where applicable." 
Which means everything and nothing at the same time. We could also 
remove that statement and nothing would change from a legal point of view.

Etienne doesn't like the fact that his name might simply disappear. He 
doesn't like that and he's asking the ASF to guarantee him that his name 
won't be removed from the NOTICE file.

Call it ego polishing, call it altar building, call it academic career 
booster, call it whatever you want, but I still think he has the right 
to be assured that his name won't be removed from the credits.

I see nothing harmful in this request, it's just going to take some time 
to make it happen.


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