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From Cliff Schmidt <cli...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Proposed header text at the top of each LICENSE file
Date Tue, 29 Nov 2005 09:38:00 GMT
On Nov 28, 2005, at 4:40 PM, Jeffrey Thompson wrote:

> "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote on 11/28/2005 07:07:26  
> PM:
> > I don't see how we're representing that.  Whoever contributed the
> > code under the Apache license (if anyone) would be making a patent
> > grant, but I don't recall Apache ever claiming that it had the
> > ability to go find everyone who has contributed copyrightable code
> > to old BSD projects and get patent grants.  Frankly, I think that
> > would be a waste of time.  And I don't see anything in the ASLv2
> > that requires it.
> > Asserting that "this software is licensed under the ALv2" is a
> > little misleading. We must at least make it clear that some of the
> > components of that collective work were licensed to us under other
> > licenses, including the BSD. That, I believe, is all that Cliff  
> is suggesting.
> >
> Larry,
>     I didn't read Cliff's suggestion as providing for a "notice"  
> when Apache has received code under other than the ASL or a CLA.   
> That would be a completely different issue, I think.  And one I  
> hadn't thought much about before.

Sorry if my past emails were not clear.  I'll be as specific as  
possible -- here is the every-day scenario around Apache:

1. A group of Apache committers, all of whom have signed CLAs, are  
working on an ASF project.

2. The group decides they could really use a 'foo-machine' in their  
code.  They could build one themselves, but it would take time and  
they are aware of a perfectly suitable one available under a BSD  
license.  In fact, this particular foo-machine may be widely  
considered as the de facto standard for all such machines; therefore,  
creating some other similar version may actually make the ASF product  
less desirable, in addition to taking longer to develop.

3. Without tracking down all the copyright owners* of the foo-machine  
component and making them all sign software grants to the ASF, the  
committers read the BSD license and understand they can redistribute  
the component as part of their ASF product.

4. Finally, as the ASF distribution is prepared for release, the  
committers/PMC members ensure that downstream users and  
redistributors of their product understand both the licensing of the  
collective work that is their product distribution and also the  
licensing of each included component.  Other than the foo-machine, it  
may be the case that every other aspect of the code base was written  
by the committers and contributed to the ASF under the terms of the  
CLA.  However, the foo-machine was never contributed to the ASF by  
its authors.  Therefore, the committers/PMC members decide to  
redistribute the component under its original BSD license, within the  
larger Apache product that is licensed under the Apache License, v2  
(along with all the CLA-contributed code within the product).

The notice I suggested at the top of this thread is one to make sure  
users and redistributors of Apache products understand that there may  
be components (and will list exactly which ones) included in the  
product that were not contributed to Apache and may be licensed under  
other terms (and will identify exactly which terms).  Whether these  
other terms are BSD, ASL1.1, CPL, or LGPL, they are not the terms of  
the Apache License, v2.  The license may be missing an explicit  
patent grant, or have a stricter patent revocation clause, or not  
allow sublicensing; but for whatever reason, such a difference would  
make slapping an ALv2 license on the component a misrepresentation,  
at the very least, IMO.

*Regarding point 3, it is currently up to each PMC to perform an  
appropriate level of due diligence to determine whether any included  
component appears to be properly licensed by the legal owners of the  
component.  Each PMC does this differently, and this may be an area  
to improve upon at some point.


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