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From Jeffrey Thompson <jt...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: [Fwd: Re: Copyright text, and javadoc license]
Date Mon, 07 Mar 2005 14:40:27 GMT
Phil Steitz <phil@steitz.com> wrote on 03/06/2005 08:39:27 AM:

> 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:

   I think that Larry and I would agree that the copyright statute was not 
written with organizations like Apache in mind.  In was generally expected 
at the time that there would be one or at most a few "authors" of a single 
work.  If it was a work developed by many people, it was normally in the 
context of a company where the authors were employees, and the law 
automatically assigned ownership of the work to the company. 

   So, we are trying to apply old rules to volunteer organizations where 
the original authors retain their copyrights.  It is not a perfect fit. 

   What Larry is suggesting more closely complies with the letter of the 
statutes.  However, it does not satisfy Apache's needs, at least as I 
understand them, as well as the current policy, which certainly complies 
with the spirit.  The question is what is the effect of Apache's policy?

   I do not think that Larry is suggesting that the current Apache 
copyright notice will cause the files to lose their copyright.  Then, if 
someone were to challenge the Apache notice as misleading, what would be 
the effect?  As I read the statute, the actual owner of the code would be 
prohibited from protesting the license granted by Apache.  But, then 
again, everyone contributing to Apache wants Apache to grant those 
licenses, so I'm not sure what the downside is?


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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