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From Robert Burrell Donkin <>
Subject Re: Copyright Notices, Source Headers and Licenses (By Example)
Date Fri, 14 Oct 2011 08:14:12 GMT
On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 9:25 PM, Pedro Giffuni <> wrote:
> Thank you Robert you've been very clear, but ...
> --- On Thu, 10/13/11, Robert Burrell Donkin wrote:
> ...
>> Please jump in where I've been unclear)
> ...
>> It is vital that only the owner (or their agent) alters a
>> copyright notice unless specific written permission been
>> granted.
> We have been respecting this part, perhaps to the extreme.
> Ideally Oracle should've had replaced the headers but to
> ease up thing we imported their development tree with the
> old copyrights.

Typically, the entity donating the code will have at least one
committer who can act as their agent in this. Otherwise, the Apache
legal team needs to be involved.

In this case, we have an okay from Oracle [1] to relocate the copyright notices

> There is an initial SGA, so I guess any
> committer can take the list of transferred files and
> commit a license change, right?

This is about the copyright notices (eg "Copyright 2000, 2010 Oracle
and/or its affiliates."), not copyright licenses. Changing copyright
notices is - from a legal perspective - an important action. Never
change copyright notices without checking with the legal team[2].

Apache's legal paperwork allows the Foundation to issue licenses for
most of the source released[3]. The original source headers simply
inform the user that Oracle grants an alternative license. When Apache
has our standard legal paperwork covering the source, these source
headers can be replaced by the standard Apache boilerplate without

> It's a lot of files so I wonder how other projects have
> managed this. I thought of creating a new branch and
> merging the changes back but that didn't receive support.
> Do tell us if there is a magical perl script to do these
> type of replacements :).

There are scripts but it's important to confirm that everything
changed is covered before altering headers


[2] A major priority for Apache is to protect committers and the
Foundation from legal risk. This means following the rules.
[3] Exceptional source *must* have a header with the original license

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