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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Apache DirectMemory 0.1-incubating (take 2)
Date Sat, 07 Jul 2012 16:25:42 GMT
On Sat, Jul 7, 2012 at 4:52 AM, sebb <> wrote:

> AIUI, it's very simple:
> - the full license should be included in the LICENSE file
> - if a license requires attribution, then the required attribution
> (only) needs to go in the NOTICE file.
> - if a license does not _require_ attribution, then there should not
> be any mention in the NOTICE file.

It's only simple if you understand whether the license in question requires
attribution in the NOTICE file.  :)  But that turns out to be simple, after all.

After a long and difficult struggle, the conclusion I have reached is that the
only common license which requires attribution in the NOTICE file is the

4-clause BSD would also require NOTICE attribution because of the advertising
clause -- but there's almost nothing out there under 4-clause BSD these days.

See here for why 2-clause and 3-clause BSD licenses do *not* require mention

The reasoning is straightforward.  The BSD licenses are designed to be
embedded in source files, and for source distributions, leaving them there
satisfies this provision:

   * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
     notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

Copying the license text of BSD dependencies into LICENSE is a courtesy to
our downstream consumers, but that duplication is not required by the BSD
license for source distributions.

For binary distributions, this clause applies:

   * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
     notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
     documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

For binary distributions of Java projects, I believe that clause is satisfied
by embedding LICENSE within the jar file.  In any case, there's never any need
to put stuff about a modern 2-clause or 3-clause BSD licensed dependency into
NOTICE in addition to LICENSE.

I used BSD as an example because it's the only one not written in legalese, but
other open source licenses are similar.  So long as we include LICENSE with
the distribution, for the most part nobody cares about stuff in NOTICE.  The
main exception is the ALv2.

In conclusion, a good starting assumption is that only ALv2 dependencies
are going to require anything in NOTICE.  We have the work we created for
ourselves with the Apache license with this hard-to-understand requirement, but
for the most part, that's it.

Marvin Humphrey

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