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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Expressing priorities about release reviews
Date Sun, 13 Jan 2013 17:51:48 GMT
On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 4:45 AM, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
> 1. Why are podlings having so much trouble getting the legal metadata
>    correct?

*   Our documentation on legal metadata is ill-organized, voluminous, and
    ultimately overwhelming.
*   The NOTICE construct is fundamentally confusing.
*   Few software developers have the patience, the temperament, and more than
    anything else the raw hours to acquire a lot of expertise about licensing.

> Adding all of this up, I've got a very modest proposal. Let's create a
> checklist, put it prominently at the top of the relevant doc, and then
> see if we can't improve the visibility of this.

I am skeptical that the information necessary to build LICENSE and NOTICE can
be expressed in a checklist.  The problem is that LICENSE and NOTICE still
start as blank pages, and filling them in from scratch requires expertise
which is costly to acquire.

I suspect that a "LICENSE-o-matic" approach will yield better results, because
it relieves the developer from having to conceive of a basic structure for
LICENSE and NOTICE.  Here is some sample pseudocode for appending dependency
information to NOTICE:

    SUBROUTINE append_to_notice(notice, dependency):

        # Only bundled dependencies get considered for NOTICE!
        IF NOT dependency.bundled:

        IF dependency.license IS MIT_X11:
            PASS   # No NOTICE requirement
        ELIF dependency.license IS THREE_CLAUSE_BSD:
            PASS   # No NOTICE requirement
        ELIF dependency.license IS APACHE_LICENSE_V2:
            IF has_notice_file(dependency):
                IF is_apache_product(dependency):
        ELIF dependency.license IS FOUR_CLAUSE_BSD:


        # Recurse for nested dependencies.
        FOR nested_dependency IN dependency.nested_dependencies:
            append_to_notice(notice, nested_dependency)

For the beginning of such a document, see...

    How-to guide for "Assembling LICENSE and NOTICE"

PS: This thread was originally about how our hyper-focus on LICENSE and
    NOTICE distracts us from more important concerns, both legal and social.
    I agree with that assessment and regret contributing to the diversion once

Marvin Humphrey

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