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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Date Thu, 29 Mar 2012 15:45:54 GMT
The reason why notices must be made and replicas of licenses are made available is simpler
than that.  There are licenses that *require* notice and attribution and conditions be carried
forward into derivative works and other situations where the licensed material is carried

In addition, copyright notices generally cannot be expunged except by permission/action of
the copyright holder (and it doesn't, generally, by itself do anything to remove fact of the

 - Dennis


Apart from that, I share the discomfort about the prospect of being careless with handling
of GPLd material.  My concern is that folks are casual about slapping GPL notices over works.
 I see enough misunderstanding about how copyright works and what a copyright is limited to
that it takes something to know whether such work has been GPLd carelessly and perhaps improperly.
 (A common myth and use of the term "relicensing" is also a clue.)

I believe the ASF view is that one must rely on the attestations of contributors and that
will be sufficient to limit any liability/responsibility if there is a disturbance.  I think
that is quite accurate as a practical matter.  With regard to relying on third-party works
(such as some GPLd artifact), I think there is need for greater care and the ASF has guideline
about that.  Of course, the handling of notices and licenses comes *after* it is concluded
that an use is safe and that it is done in a way where the users of ASF artifacts can safely
rely on that.

-----Original Message-----
From: Pedro Giffuni [] 
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 06:55
Subject: Re: [RELEASE] NOTICE and LICENSE file

On 03/29/12 06:19, Oliver-Rainer Wittmann wrote:
> Hi Pedro,
> On 28.03.2012 17:23, Pedro Giffuni wrote:
>> Hello;
>> Excuse me I don't really want to be involved in this discussion.
>> I am simply tired of looking those files!
> Thx again for your work on these files.
>> However.. just my $0.02.
>> On 03/28/12 04:18, Oliver-Rainer Wittmann wrote:
>>> Hi
>>> ...
>>> There is already feedback on legal-discuss regarding my post.
>>> A short summary:
>>> - It seems that LICENSE file and NOTICE file of integrated Apache 
>>> projects as
>>> 3rd party components need to be considered. E.g. Apache APR
>>> - It seems that notices of 3rd party components which are licensed 
>>> under the
>>> Apache license need to be considered. E.g. serf
>>> - For our planned binary packages the bundled dictionary extensions 
>>> need to be
>>> considered.
>>> If you are interested in further details you may have a look at
>> The thread and particualrly Marvin Humphrey's first reply are very 
>> interesting
>> but I don't agree with your summary.
>> It is clear to me that the NOTICE file has only to purposes:
>> 1. To cover for the advertisement clause the classic BSD licenses and 
>> ASL (1-1.1).
> I am not an expert here. Thus, let me ask some questions to be sure:
> If the advertising clause is included in the use BSD license then we 
> have cover it in the NOTICE file. Right?
> The advertising clause states that the name of the copyright holder 
> shall not be used to promote the product which uses this software.

No , that's not the advertisement clause: you can identify it because on
the classic BSD license it's the third of 4 clauses. We almost don't have
any code under that license (OpenSSL is the typical example).

> Why does this mean that we have to cover it in the NOTICE file?

The advertisement clause is this one:

" 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
must display the following acknowledgement:
This product includes software developed by the <organization>."

It is somewhat inconvenient for end distributors but there are deep 
reasons behind the FSF's hate for this clause (somewhat related to
obliterating the individual in favor of a collective entity owning the 

>> 2. To inform about probable patent issues.
>> The above two things are typically the things that make software GPL 
>> incompatible.
>> My conclusions are:
>> (1) We are carrying way too much information in our NOTICE and 
>> LICENSE files.
>> (2) The mere existance of a LICENSE file would indicate we cannot 
>> comply with
>> the GPL. The GPL, however only applies to distribution not to use.
>> I think to be consistent with (2) we cannot carry GPL notices, plus 
>> those are not
>> shipped always. I think the way around that is add a general 
>> disclaimer note
>> about "alien" extensions that may be included in a binary package 
>> that are under
>> an independent license but don't constitute derived works.
>>> Thus, I will continue my work on this task:
>>> - First I will create a LICENSE file and a NOTICE file for the 
>>> source package
>>> of our release. These will be the files trunk/main/LICENSE and 
>>> trunk/main/NOTICE
>> This must be stripped, Please note that we already carry information 
>> about other
>> Apache Projects like Tomcat and Commons in our NOTICE file. The AL2 
>> doesn't
>> have an advertisement clause, so I think almost everything there 
>> should go except
>> for OpenSSL and maybe the ICC stuff and the Adobe stuff.
>>> - Then I will create a LICENSE file and a NOTICE file for the binary 
>>> packages
>>> of our release. I will name them trunk/main/LICENSE-binary-package and
>>> trunk/main/NOTICE-binary-package
>> You can call make LICENSE addendums but then those vary with the 
>> specific
>> dictionaries bundled. In the thread there is uncertainty if we should 
>> include
>> such thing in LICENSE or if we should just note them prominently in the
>> extensions themselves.
> Have you seen William A. Rowe Jr.'s reply on legal-discuss. He stated 
> that it should be included in the LICENSE file.
OK, I read it. I agree that would be the ideal but still that is not 
legally consistent.

IMHO, it's really a bad idea to bundle GPL stuff in the binary packages.

We are about to repeat the PostgreSQL - GNU readline+OpenSSL incident:



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