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From "Roy T. Fielding" <field...@gbiv.com>
Subject Re: Q. Forks without concensus?; A. anytime / depends / never without agreement
Date Sat, 07 Jan 2012 21:24:12 GMT
On Jan 6, 2012, at 8:17 PM, Noel J. Bergman wrote:

> The ASF is not about code; it is about community.  If a community forks, or otherwise
emerges around a codebase, we are not accepting the CODE: we are accepting the COMMUNITY.

One company is not a community.

> And it seems to me that if we are to say that a COMMUNITZY is not permitted to participate
despite use of code that is perfectly proper according to the license, then we are beggaring
out own license, the whole point of which is to permit forks, and to prevent a sole copyright
holder from assuming control over the community.

If there is no community for the original codebase, yes.  If there is a community
and that community doesn't want Apache to fork the code that they created,
then we will not fork that code at Apache.  If the original developers of the
code do not want their license changed, then we will not fork the code at Apache.
We only accept voluntary contributions (contributions == the stuff we take on as
change-controller and managed as such by one of our collaborative projects).
We use other open source code and include that other code in our own releases,
but we don't take change-control over it without the blessing of the original authors.

That does not stop people from forking the code elsewhere, perhaps in-house or at
google code, growing a community over time, and attracting their own community.

> If a corporation were to create an ASF-licensed codebase, and later decide to "take back"
control, would we refuse a COMMUNITY-based project based on that codebase?

It depends on where the community wanted to take it.

In this case, which is far more interesting than a theoretical case, a company
with long ties at Apache has decided to fork an existing, community-supported
open source project that is currently under the BSD license, without having
made any significant contributions to that project in the past, and is using
Apache's reputation as an excuse to place themselves in control over this new
"community" at Apache.  That is wrong.

The original developers are not ambivalent to this fork.  What they told
WANdisco is the same that we would tell them -- the license allows you to
fork the code if you desire to do so.  They did not want a fork -- what they
want is for WANdisco to participate in their own community *first* and then
everyone can see whether the existing community wishes to adopt their
changes (or not).

The VOTE was based on misleading information.  The Incubator PMC should declare it
void and request a new proposal.  The existing Bloodhound podling should be
placed on hold until this is sorted out.  If WANdisco wishes to fork trac for
their own commercial reasons, they are free to do so under their own name and
their own responsibility, not ours.  If the existing TRAC community wants to
join the ASF, then their community can be asked to put together a joint proposal
to that effect -- not one dominated by a sole corporation that has not even
been a part of that community.

....Roy
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