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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Category-B tarballs in SVN (was Re: External libraries)
Date Fri, 13 Jan 2012 01:03:38 GMT
On 13 January 2012 00:23, Rob Weir <> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 7:13 PM, Ross Gardler
> <> wrote:
>> On 13 January 2012 00:09, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 7:05 PM, Ross Gardler
>>> <> wrote:
>>>> On 12 January 2012 23:50, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>>>>> On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 6:42 PM, Ross Gardler
>>>>> <> wrote:
>>>>>> On 12 January 2012 19:28, Rob Weir <> wrote:
>>>>>> ...
>>>>>>> You were looking for an opinion for Apache Legal.  Robert is
a member
>>>>>>> of Apache Legal Affairs, not Ross.
>>>>>> This is not correct. Neither of us is a member of the committee.
>>>>>> are both on the legal lists (I'm not sure if Robert is on the internal
>>>>>> one, but he is certainly on the discuss list where this kind of thing
>>>>>> would be).
>>>>>> As I stated in that thread I believve Robert is mistaken, but since
>>>>>> am not a part of the legal affairs committee, only an observer, I
>>>>>> cannot be certain.
>>>>> If you can point to any policy statement to back your belief, I'd love
>>>>> to have a link, for the record.  Or, a even a cogent argument for why
>>>>> this should not be allowed, given the stated goals of the license
>>>>> policies.
>>>> See the reply I just posted pointing to a conversation you instigated
>>>> on this very issue on legal-discuss. That thread is certainly not a
>>>> "no", but it is certainly not a "yes" either. The conversation needs
>>>> finishing.
>>> The thread went much further than what you quoted there, Ross,
>>> including the quote I gave where it was stated that this was OK.
>> Really? Then markmail is not showing the full thread. Can you provide
>> a direct link to that mail, all I am seeing is at
>> there is no OK in there.
>> I don't see anything else in the ASF archves either, the start of the
>> thread is at
>> What am I missing?
> What I said in my earlier note -- the thread was partially on
> legal-discuss and partially on ooo-dev.  Robert came over to ooo-dev
> to continue the discussion directly with the project.  Probably the
> best way to get it in coherent form, if your mail client doesn't piece
> cross-list threads together, is to search MarkMail for "Clarification
> on treatment of "weak copyleft" components"

OK, thanks.

I've read the thread that this search returns, but I don't see an "OK".

I see some comments from Rob, which I do not agree with. Rob does not
speak for the Legal Affairs committee, he speaks, as I do, as a well
intentioned advisor. Even so I don't see him saying it is OK, I see
things like:

"Archiving the compressed source of weak copyleft dependencies in some
sort of repository[1] is something that Apache will need to become
comfortable with sometime soon"

Note the future tense here - this is not currently something the ASF
is comfortable with. Roberts personal opinion on whether this is
necessary or not is irrelevant. It was said in reply to the VP Legal
affairs saying "That [holding MPL code in SVN] normally is highly
discouraged / not allowed."

Robert went on to say "But developing downstream derivative works of
weak copyleft dependencies is likely to be a major issue" (I'm not
clear if this is relevant here or not, so feel free to ignore if it is

If there is an "OK" in there I can't see it.

I'm afraid I still support Pedro's concerns. This is a grey area and
we need clarification from legal-discuss. We need the above thread to
be completed.

> And if you can give me a link to the relevant Apache policy on this,
> I'd much appreciate that as well.

As we've said many times before the ASF is not a place where every
rule is written down. This has its advantages and its disadvantages.
The nearest I can provide is the one you linked to in your mail in the
above discussed thread. It can be found at

> It is rather hard to ask for a
> policy to be changed, or ask for an exception to a policy, or even to
> ask for a policy to be explained, if no one can actually find it.

Well you did OK in October, it's just that the issue was never
resolved by the legal-discuss list.

> Saying "we've never done that before" is not an argument from policy.

Rob, nobody has said that. What is being said, in Sam Ruby's words (VP
legal Affairs) is:

"That normally is highly discouraged / not allowed."

Note the word "normally" and note Sams requests for more info so he
can consider whether this is an appropriate edge case.

> It is an argument from inexperience.

Rob, I have been active in the ASF for over 10 years, I've been a
Member for the vast majority of that time. Furthermore I have spent a
significant amount of my *personal* time looking in the archives to
see if this specific issue has been addressed before. I did this
*before* posting here.

I've pointed to a thread in which the VP Legal Affairs has essentially
said, (and I paraphrase) "not normally - but lets look at the options
and decide if this is a special case". You have claimed that the same
thread says it is OK - I don't see that. Please quote it for me, it is
way past my bedtime and I am tired.

Pedro may be more or less experienced than me, I don't know. That is
irrelevant, he has merit here and his opinion needs to be respected.
He cannot be expected to withdraw his objection unless evidence is
provided. So far the only evidence I see is that the VP Legal affairs
said (and I paraphrase) "not normally - but lets look at the options
and decide if this is a special case".

With that I'm going to bed and will leave space for others to comment
and tell me I've got it all wrong and should sleep more.


Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
Programme Leader (Open Development)

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