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From "Roy T. Fielding" <>
Subject Re: Harmony Podlling Quarterly Report
Date Thu, 28 Jul 2005 20:52:16 GMT
On Jul 28, 2005, at 12:25 PM, Niclas Hedhman wrote:
> On Thursday 28 July 2005 22:59, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
>> Sure - every mail list at the ASF has been understood to be under the
>> Apache License for contributions, and if you choose to submit
>> something to a mail list that isn't intended for people to use, you
>> mark it as "NOT A CONTRIBUTION".
>> Without this, no one could take anything from mail lists and use in
>> projects because they wouldn't have been contributed under a license
>> we accept.
> I doubt this is legally binding to any degree what so ever. ( A formal
> reference to what you claim would also be interesting, since after 7 
> years on
> various ASF mailing lists, I have never come across that contributions 
> over
> mail has implicit licensing infered by the non Copyright holder...)
> Without a Copyright notice inside a mail ( and reference to any 
> licensing
> attached to that ) posted on a globally public mailing list, would for 
> sure
> be considered belonging to the public domain, where a "courtesy of..." 
> is
> ethically right, but not required, in case of use.

That isn't true, just as listening to a song over the radio doesn't
make the song public domain.  Nor does viewing a poster on a street
make the poster art public domain.

> If I, the Contributor, have claims to something I publicly display, 
> such
> display must contain any such claims. Without informing the audience, 
> I have
> given up such claims.
> IANAL, but we could check whether I am out sailing completely or not.

You are not even close.  If you want to learn something about
copyright law, there is plenty of reference material available on
the web for you to review.  There is no need to speculate.

ASF mailing lists are protected to some degree by the community's
acceptance that the work done on those lists will be distributed
under the Apache license.  We have a legal argument (not a slam dunk)
that nobody could possibly participate on one of our lists without
knowing that the products we produce are under the Apache License,
and therefore a person posting code would not be able to claim
damages for infringing their copyright on redistribution.  However,
that doesn't mean they lose their copyright -- they can still
prevent us from using the code in future releases.

Right now, that argument holds pretty well for all of our public
mailing lists even if the person hasn't read the community
license.  The only thing that license does is clarify the common
sense expectations of our public lists.  If we start making
exceptions for particular lists, then we can't say that the
entire community can expect the same terms to apply, and then
we need to explicitly post those terms in places where the
subscribers cannot ignore them.

As I said to Geir at ApacheCon, we cannot allow the terms to be
any less than the Apache License terms on any of our lists.
If Harmony needs to placate the ignorant, then contributors
would have to explicitly dual-license their contributions so
that they can be used by either group (i.e., provide additional
sets of terms for the whiners).

Note, however, that the people crying about the community terms
are a bunch of idiots.  They already require their contributors to
assign copyright to the FSF.  As such, the mailing list discussion
is completely irrelevant to their redistribution rights because
they can't use any code from that discussion without a separate
copyright assignment from the original author.  Geir
should tell them to go suck an egg, but he is far too nice. ;-)


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