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From Matt Benson <>
Subject IP clearance for compatibly-licensed software WAS Re: DeltaSpike IP clarifications
Date Tue, 17 Jan 2012 20:11:40 GMT
This thread brings up another issue.  During this process we have
encountered the sentiment that the ASF's insistence on (arguably)
extensive documentation to import e.g. ALv2-licensed code seems to
express a lack of confidence in "its own" license on the part of the
ASF.  My response has been, paraphrased, that the ASF, in the interest
of protecting its projects, may go "above and beyond" with regard to
IP clearance.  With his permission, I'll paste what Red Hat's Richard
Fontana had to say on the matter:

> > I must say that I am in strong agreement with those who expressed
> > puzzlement at the apparent insufficiency of the Apache License 2.0 --
> > I understand this to mean that the ASF has no confidence in its own
> > license, at least when that license comes from third parties. If the
> > ASF isn't confident in that license when it comes from others, why
> > should anyone be confident in that same license when it comes from the
> > ASF? �I don't want to make a big deal out of this, I just want to add
> > my support as a lawyer to a viewpoint you're hearing from
> > developers. I have, in fact, raised this very question before, in a
> > number of contexts.

Now, before anyone says "how dare he!" he also went on to say:

> I don't mind the ASF choosing to have such IP policies,
> because of the unique role of the ASF and my very high degree of trust
> and confidence in the ASF. It's really in non-ASF contexts where I've
> raised the issue (for example, I recently made some comments along
> these lines on the OpenStack developers' mailing list). And we've been
> criticized on the other side, for example with Fedora.  I guess the
> only points of tension come about in situations like this where we
> have Red Hat code migrating to Apache incubator status. But, as a
> personal matter, and as a Red Hat employee, I am very pleased to see
> this happening

So I am satisfied to accept that this is "the way it is," toe the
line, and put on the brave external face.  But so I don't look like an
idiot saying "it is what it is," is there an authoritative explanation
of the motivation behind our policies to which future querents should
be directed?


On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 1:54 PM, Sam Ruby <> wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM, ralph.goers
> <> wrote:
>> I didn't mention CCLA's on purpose. A corporation will have a CCLA on file
>> to either a) declare that certain employees are permitted to contribute
>> software or b) declare that certain software is contributed to the ASF.  A
>> CCLA that is on file that only includes Schedule A doesn't grant the ASF
>> permission to use specific software created by the company. If the company
>> is donating the software they need to specify it. If the software is being
>> contributed via an ICLA then the CCLA simply says the company is giving the
>> contributor the right to contribute software that normally the company
>> would own. However, an individual should never contribute software under
>> their ICLA that they didn't author, unless they have explicit permission
>> from the other authors. For a "significant" contribution a software grant
>> is typically the best way to do it.
> I concur.
> Either an (additional|updated) CCLA with a concurrent software grant
> (Schedule B) for the code in question -or- simply a separate Software
> Grant would be appreciated.
> If RedHat is on board with this (and everything in this conversations
> indicated that that is indeed the case), then that shouldn't be a
> problem?
> - Sam Ruby
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