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From Ralph Goers <ralph.go...@dslextreme.com>
Subject Re: Thrift release legal issues
Date Mon, 17 Aug 2009 00:13:37 GMT
See below. First, this should have been asked on legal-discuss.   
Second, the answers below are just my opinion.

On Aug 16, 2009, at 4:24 PM, Joe Schaefer wrote:

> I'm trying to coax out a release of Apache Thrift and ran into a
> few obstacles.  Maybe you can offer me a little guidance?
>
> First, I found that the CCLA from Facebook excludes
> contributions from 3rd parties who wrote code for Thrift
> prior to the move to Apache.  With the exception of imeem.com,
> all of the corporate entities appear to have a CCLA on file
> with us.  I've attempted to contact the folks from imeem.com
> to request that a CCLA be filed for their Thrift work.
>
> I've also found that there are 6 individuals listed in the
> Facebook CCLA who do not have ICLAs with us and have accordingly
> contacted them as well.

Was the Facebook CCLA a software grant and were the 6 individuals  
Facebook employees (if not, why were they listed in the CCLA)? If they  
did their development on behalf of Facebook then as I understand it  
Facebook owns the rights to the software and ICLAs shouldn't be  
required. The software grant from Facebook would be enough.

>
> So the first question is: do we have any contingency strategies
> for the likely situation where not all past contributors to Thrift
> will have paperwork on file in the near future?  Can Thrift still
> cut a release or does that block it?  Thrift was in fact an open
> source project prior to coming here, and it *has* released stuff under
> an alternate license.  Does that mitigate the issue at all?

See my comment above.

>
> The second question regards the LICENSE file.  I'm accustomed to
> seeing all the licenses for all the code to be distributed listed
> in the LICENSE file, but don't see anywhere within the Incubator
> docs that this concept is mandatory.  I've been pushing Thrift to
> do this because that's the way I've usually seen it done but the
> idea hasn't gained any traction with the thrift devs yet.  Is there
> such a policy, does it simply constitute best practice, or am I
> barking up the wrong tree?

I was under the impression the LICENSE file should contain the Apache  
license. All other licenses should be referenced in the NOTICE file.  
See http://www.apache.org/licenses/.

> The third issue is that Thrift intends to distribute with an LGPL
> dependency on their build system.  I'm familiar with the scary  
> language
> adopted by the legal team regarding the LGPL, but don't consider this
> situation to be problematic since it's just a few Makefiles and such.
> Will I need to get special permission from legal for this?

If they are using Maven 2 and if the LGPL dependency is referenced as  
a dependency in the pom such that it is downloaded during the build  
and is not distributed with Apache software (or if the build process  
is functionally equivalent to this), I personally would have no  
problem with it being used as part of the build. https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-19

  and https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-23 seem similar to  
this.  In general, anything involving software in Category X should  
seek permission. The best way is to create a Jira issue.

Ralph

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