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From "William A. Rowe Jr." <>
Subject Re: Apache Licensing Q's [was: Incubator Proposal]
Date Thu, 02 Jun 2011 16:19:25 GMT
On 6/1/2011 10:37 PM, Alexandro Colorado wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 10:23 PM, William A. Rowe Jr. <>wrote:
>>  Other Works
>>    * You can use the Creative Commons Attribution License
>>      ("Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5").
>>      We only accept work under this license that is non-editable and for
>>      which
>>      there is no editable version that can be contributed to the project.
>> This last item concerns me.  How much of the contribution is unusable due
>> to the "Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5" tag, which would appear to be a category
>> X license to ASF works?  (I couldn't find a corresponding Jira in the legal
>> discuss tracker.)
> The CC was generated for non-code contributions as far as I know. I would
> need to have that confirmed.

That is my understanding.  But if we ask legal-discuss, all contributions at
the ASF must be editable (one pillar of the Open Source Definition) and must
allow derivative works ... IOW, under the Apache License.

So I simply need to understand the scope of the CC elements of OOo which will
need to be entirely replaced.

(As I read CC-AND, even translations of such works pose a problem?)


On 6/2/2011 4:24 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 1:07 PM, William A. Rowe Jr. <> wrote:
>> Were all contributions to under copyright assignment (via
>> employment or specific copyright assignment agreement)?  How many other
>> independent copyright holders would have to assent to the license change?
>> How much non-assenting code would have to be eliminated and potentially
>> replaced?
> The answers to these questions are not known at this time, and will
> need to be resolved before exiting incubation.

Correcting us both, I believe this is known, to the extent that Oracle
holds copyright or joint copyright to all code and is in the position to
license as they see fit (to the ASF or otherwise).  I now understand from that the 80/20 of my concerns are
solved (my list posts came across out-of-sequence), Oracle conveys their
copyright license for the ASF to licenses as we will (AL) for the bulk
of the existing work.

I simply need some understanding of the scope of the CC-AND works.  Are
we talking fundamental documentation?  Nice-to-have additions/examples?
Have prospective committers stepped up to replace the necessary elements?

AFAICT, our best incubation process may be to avoid checking in any of
the CC-AND contributions within any initial svn import (and the second
best option would be import-and-immediate-purge).  No derivatives are
allowed, ergo it will be very challenging to show that the replacements
are not derivative, and starting from scratch is starting from scratch.

I guess I've seen too many failures to launch at incubator to support any
more projects coming in which are not in the realistic position to publish
working results as AL works.  So without these answers, I personally would
vote -1 on such a new project.  You can look at any number which required
multi-year (half decade) of incubation without being able to graduate or
release due to simply the licensing/dependency challenges.

The incubator is not supposed to be this hard, and shouldn't be a parking
lot for complex works with complex licensing problems.  If major problems
can be addressed, they are best addressed on incubation acceptance, leaving
only minor issues to address during graduation.  If major problems are
going to be difficult to address, the incubator needs to think twice before
accepting the podling, IMHO.

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