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From "Cliff Schmidt" <cliffschm...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: SableVM? -- ICLA details
Date Fri, 24 Mar 2006 20:57:26 GMT
On 3/23/06, Stefano Mazzocchi <stefano@apache.org> wrote:
> With my Board Director hat on:
> I believe that it is a bug that the current ICLA gives the ASF enough
> power to relicense something without acknowledging who donated it to us.
> I would be in favor of changing the ICLA more than to sign an ad-hoc
> statement like the one you propose.
> With my Harmony hat on: I would like this to move as fast as we can and
> I don't know which one of the options is faster.
> Cliff, are you watching this? any comment?

sure -- below

On 3/24/06, Dalibor Topic <robilad@kaffe.org> 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?

I'll try to address the issues that Stefano and Dalibor have brought
up with a summary of how works flow through Apache:

The works distributed by the ASF come from three sources:

1. works owned by committers or their employers and licensed to the
ASF under a (c)CLA or Software Grant.
2. third-party works that are licensed in ways that allow us to
redistribute them within Apache products -- see
http://people.apache.org/~cliffs/3party.html for a draft of a policy
applying to these works.
3. the collective work of the product distribution itself, as
selected, coordinated, and arranged by the PMC.  Unlike individual
commits and third-party works, the copyright in this collective work
is owned by the ASF.

Setting aside #3, here's how we deal with licensing of #1 and #2:

#1: The CLAs and Software Grant give the ASF a very broad copyright
license with basically no restrictions -- not even the notice
requirements of the Apache License.  This allows the ASF the option to
sublicense the contributions under some future version of the Apache
License, including a version with the NOTICE section removed.  The
CLAs/SG also includes a patent license and revocation clause that is
identical to what is passed on in the Apache License (the ASF doesn't
have much flexibility with this piece).

#2: Third-party works are always redistributed and sublicensed by the
ASF under the exact same terms that we received them under.  We
certainly do not have the rights to remove any licensing restrictions
from third-party works nor subicense any rights not specified in the

In neither case, should we be replacing a copyright notice with our
own.  However, for committer contributions, we may choose to place
everyone's copyright notice in a single file, rather than scattered
throughout each piece of code that a committer authored (I will bring
this up on legal-discuss shortly).  For third-party works, we never
touch the copyright header  -- we leave such notices as we found them.

So, while I believe that there is nothing legally preventing the ASF
from distributing CLA works under a future license that removes the
NOTICE requirement, the copyright notices will always be maintained
somewhere in each release.  It's also probably worth noting that there
are several NOTICE files today that have a line in there stating that
the initial contribution was developed by some company, like IBM or
BEA.  No company has ever asked for a contract with the ASF to ensure
we never remove the NOTICE from any future release, but (AFAIK) there
also has not been any interest from anyone in removing it.

Does that help?


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