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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: What rights are given in an SGA
Date Tue, 22 Jan 2013 01:10:17 GMT

On Jan 21, 2013, at 10:59 AM, Rob Weir wrote:

> 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
> distributed.
> 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.

Agreed this follows the policy here:

One subtle point here is the following:

"If the source file is submitted with a copyright notice included in it, the copyright owner
(or owner's agent) must either:
	• remove such notices, or
	• move them to the NOTICE file associated with each applicable project release, or
	• provide written permission for the ASF to make such removal or relocation of the notices."

The SGA does not give those rights.

If IBM will or has granted the ASF these specific rights then anyone from the project can
make these changes as they move the files. But unless this is so it is only safe for an IBM
employee listed on a CCLA to do it. That is the hang up as non-IBM project committers may
be constrained from doing this until this matter is cleared up.


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