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From Rob Weir <>
Subject What rights are given in an SGA
Date Mon, 21 Jan 2013 18:59:55 GMT
Since this has come up recently, I'd like to point you all to a recent
thread on the legal-discuss list:

If you are not familiar with the SGA form, you can see it here:

As you can see, it is a combined Corporate CLA and Software Grant
Agreement.  Notice it does not speak of the Apache License, but it
does offer its own copyright and patent license.

The license portion in question was this:

"Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms and conditions
      of this Agreement, You hereby grant to the Foundation and to
      recipients of software distributed by the Foundation a perpetual,
      worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable
      copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of,
      publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute
      Your Contributions and such derivative works."

The question was:  What does "software distributed by the Foundation"
mean?  Does that mean only releases?  Code in SVN?  What exactly?

As you can read in the archives, the response was that stuff in SVN is
considered "distributed by the Foundation", so the license of the SGA
applies to contributions made under SGA and checked into Subversion.

But note also Roy's later clarifying response:

"The dev subversion repo is not a means of distributing to the
"general public".  It distributes to our self-selected development
teams that are expected to be aware of the state of the code being

When we distribute to the "general public", it is called a release."

That was the basis for the DISCLAIMER I put in the root of our
Subversion a couple of days ago:

I don't think this is anything new.  We already know that code that
we're releasing requires careful review and verification of file
headers, LICENSE and NOTICE files, etc.  That is part of what it means
to publish a release at Apache.  But we have other stuff in Subversion
that we do not intend to include in a release, and for which we do not
make this effort.  For example, /devtools, /ooo-site and /symphony.



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