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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: Terms of Service on Forums
Date Mon, 16 Jul 2012 18:57:42 GMT
I have no idea why a page on the structure has terms that
apply to the domain (and subdomains?).

I also have no idea why that page has an HTML <head> comment that offers itself under
ALv2, in conflict with the terms it states.

I have nothing further to add to this conversation.

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Weir [] 
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2012 04:50
Subject: Re: Terms of Service on Forums

On Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 11:26 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<> wrote:
> I am not the one to answer that question.
> It is a policy matter for the ASF and, I presume, a determination that also involves
legal@ a.o.

My point is that since other ASF and project sites do not have a ToU
statement on them, then it is not necessary to have one to conform to
ASF policies.

> I don't have a ToU on my web sites, though many of the pages have Creative Commons 2.0
notices.  I require commenters to be registered to comment on my blogs, but I don't know there
is a ToU that goes with any of those, although there might have been when Google Blogger was
the publishing service.
> But my needs (and responsibilities) are quite different than the those of the ASF in
fulfilling its public-interest operation and how it respects the work of others.

Again, we don't see ToU on ASF sites.

> I think it matters that the great majority of content that is already there was already
published under terms of use.  There are legacy terms to deal with in now that material is
dealt with and in how visitors can regard it without knowing when such material was contributed.

Actually, the specific example Kay brought up was our incubator site
at  None of that had legacy
terms.  It is all new stuff.  So why do we need ToU there?

> I think it matters that there are requests for permission to reuse materials on the site
and it is not clear what standing the PPMC has to approve (or decline) such requests.

We *never* have standing to approve requests to reuse content.  We
(the project) do not own content.  In most cases neither does the ASF.
 The most we can do is point users to an existing license.


>  - Dennis
> PS: has a copyright notice, a license notice (and link), and trademark
notice.  There is no notice of any kind in the <head> element of the HTML. The situation
with the domains and their content is not so simple.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rob Weir []
> Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2012 18:55
> To:
> Subject: Re: Terms of Service on Forums
> On Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 9:45 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
> <> wrote:
>> Um, yes, it definitely is the ASF that should be standing behind the ToU.  They're
the only legal entity.
>> Of CollabNet ToU, I know not.  The terms.mdtext that Kay found are very much the
ToU of the original site, with someone's tweaking.  So Oracle used them.
>> I think removing legalese is fine, until it become bad legalese.
>> What more would you remove?
> A thought experiment:  what if we removed 100%?  In other words, had
> no ToU on the website.  Would anything bad happen?  What would the
> risk be?  I don't see a ToU on, or in a spot check of
> several high profile Apache projects.   Do we have some special risk
> that they do not have that requires us to put additional legalese on
> every website page?  Are they helping their users less than we are
> ours?  How?
>>  - Dennis
>> PS: I notice there needs to be some improvement in what the terms apply to.  The
found one did not mention forums.  I think it should be about the domain and
its subdomains. is a different game.
> If we do decide to go with ToU, one option would be to have a set of
> "common terms" and then a list of additional terms which apply to only
> particular services.  But personally, I'd toss it all out except
> necessary notices for things like privacy and trademark.   We're not a
> multi-billion dollar corporation and we don't need to armor our
> website with legal terms like we are one.
> -Rob
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Rob Weir []
>> Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2012 17:44
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: Terms of Service on Forums
>> On Sun, Jul 15, 2012 at 8:11 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
>> <> wrote:
>>> @Kay
>>> Well, just to prove to myself that I can make use of the ASF CMS Bookmarklet,
I edited the terms.html page.  [I didn't trigger publication though, so you may have to find
them in the staging place.]
>>> Here are the essential changes I made:
>>> I eliminated AOO-PPMC as the authority, since it isn't.  I used the Apache Software
Foundation as the HOST.
>> If  we think the ASF is the authority, then they should determine the
>> ToU, right?
>> In any case, this looks like the old CollabNet ToU, doesn't it?  It
>> looks like Dave checked in last August.  It will fit our needs as much
>> as a stranger's shoes would fit me.
>> In any case, my original suggestion still applies: Let's stop trying
>> to hack the legalese of existing ToU written by and for other
>> organizations, since none of are lawyers and we do not understand
>> fully how the parts fit together.  Instead, let's state, in plain
>> English, what we want to cover in the ToU and then go to legal-discuss
>> for the wordsmithing.
>> -Rob
>> [ ... ]

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