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From Phil Steitz <p...@steitz.com>
Subject Re: [Fwd: Re: Copyright text, and javadoc license]
Date Sun, 06 Mar 2005 13:39:27 GMT
Below is Larry's response as well, forwarded with permission.  I think 
the concepts of "original work" and "derivative work" are being strained 
here.  As I said above, I don't claim to understand any of this, but 
would very much like to understand enough to make sure that we are doing 
all -- and only -- the right things in maintaining our code bases.  Here 
is how the process "normally" works @apache.  Others can correct me if I 
am generalizing incorrectly based on the projects that I have worked on:

The committer who does the initial commit of a file may be committing 
the work of a contributor and/or her/his own work.  The standard 
copyright notice does not include the author's name (other than in the 
special cases that led to the original thread above). Subsequently, 
changes are committed by the same or other committers.  There is no 
really natural way to draw the line between what amounts to a "major 
revision" and what is a minor change.  In fact, we generally like to 
keep the individual changes small so that they can be reviewed and 
rolled back if the community does not like them or finds problems with 
them.  Over time, many small changes result in a major progress. In most 
apache projects, we have given up the practice of tracking authorship 
via @author tags (following board recommendation).  We do track changes 
(via commit logs and commit messages published to dev lists) and most 
committers consistently acknowledge the source of contributed code 
directly in commit messages and/or indirectly by reference to an issue 
tracking report.

The "original work" (what is first committed) in the generic case is in 
general not a finished product that can logically form the basis for 
"derivative works."  The only things that we have at apache that could 
reasonably be described as finished products are releases.  Even then, 
we like to follow "release early, release often."

One more relevant point is that the apache web site is not the only 
distribution point for apache software. In addition to various bundlings 
and repackaging by other OSS and commercial groups, many of the java 
components are available for automated "build-time" download and 
integration from the apache java repository and/or ibiblio.org.  For 
these reasons, our policy up to now has been to require that all 
licences and notifications be included in the distributions (both binary 
and source) themselves.


Larry Rosen Response:

Your changed work is a new derivative work. Its copyright is owned by the
author of that derivative work. You should say the following in the source
code of your derivative work only:

Copyright 2005 Phil Steitz.
Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation under a Contributor Agreement.

The download page on the ASF website for that software, distributed as part
of ASF's collective work, would say:

Copyright 2005 Apache Software Foundation.


Jeffrey Thompson wrote:
> Phil Steitz <psteitz@apache.org> wrote on 03/05/2005 06:59:14 PM:
>  > I don't pretend to understand any of this; but this sounds like it could
>  > save us volunteers a little time, so let me ask the following question:
>  >
>  > Suppose we have a source file that was created @apache as part of an
>  > ongoing project.  When first added to the source repo, it included our
>  > standard copyright notice in its header file. That notice referenced the
>  > year that it was added, say 2004.  Now 2005 rolls around and I make and
>  > commit a change to the file.  Do I need to change
>  >
>  >  * Copyright 2004 The Apache Software Foundation.
>  >
>  > to
>  >
>  >  * Copyright 2004-2005 The Apache Software Foundation.
>  >
>  > Thanks!
>  >
>  > Phil
>  >
> Do you need to?  Not really.  The purpose of the year in the copyright 
> notice is to indicate when the copyright term started so that people can 
> calculate when the work moves into the public domain.  In your hypo, the 
> file was created in 2004, so that's when the copyright on the file 
> begins.  Using a span of dates (eg., 2004-2005) is mostly used for 
> collective works where individual pieces might be 2004 and others might 
> be 2005.  For simplicity, I'd suggest keeping the initial date unless 
> you've performed some sort of major revision.
> Jeff
> Staff Counsel, IBM Corporation  (914)766-1757  (tie)8-826  (fax) -8160
> (notes) jthom@ibmus  (internet) jthom@us.ibm.com (home) jeff@beff.net
> (web) http://www.beff.net/

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