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From Craig L Russell <Craig.Russ...@Sun.COM>
Subject Re: Public domain artifacts distributed with Apache projects
Date Thu, 25 Oct 2007 01:09:46 GMT
Hi Robert,

I should have been more clear. The artifacts were not explicitly  
donated to Apache. They were found whilst trolling the internet and  
incorporated into the projects since there is no restrictive  
licensing issue.

What I think we could do is to reference all of the "public domain"  
files by the NOTICE file that contains the subject file's current  
location within the distribution, the original location whence the  
file was downloaded, and the "public domain" notice found associated  
with the file.

Would RAT be able to "connect the dots" here? How can we add enough  
bread crumbs to avoid lots of RAT exceptions each time we run RAT?  
For the purposes of vetting the RAT report, I'd think we might name  
some directory in the path "public-domain" so it's at least easy to  
scan the RAT report, knowing that we have this pattern in place.

With regard to some rdf data, I suspect we don't have time to put  
this in place. Sounds like a significant pile of work. Or was the  
once-and-future RAT project going to set this in motion?


On Oct 24, 2007, at 2:16 PM, Robert Burrell Donkin wrote:

> On Wed, 2007-10-24 at 13:05 -0700, Henri Yandell wrote:
>> On 10/24/07, Craig L Russell <Craig.Russell@sun.com> wrote:
>>> There are a few cases where my projects need to distribute artifacts
>>> that have no embedded license and the associated comments are to the
>>> effect of "This is public domain. Feel free to use it or not, but
>>> don't bother me."
>>> It seems that we should have a policy for attributing these
>>> contributions explicitly so there is no issue as to their  
>>> provenance,
>>> and especially in case someone shows up later claiming some IP  
>>> for them.
> ICLA (http://www.apache.org/licenses/icla.txt) section 7 means that
> committers should have included a message in the commit log. it is
> possible to track down provenance from commit messages (and asking the
> right people) but it is difficult and time consuming.
> IMHO it would be better for projects to include machine-readable
> provenance meta-data (RDF seems a good match for this) as part of  
> their
> source. this would allow anyone to easily understand the provenance of
> all our arifacts.
> (i have more complete analysis along these lines which i should  
> tidy up
> and blog one day soon)
>>> And where would RAT look for a NOTICE for these files?
>> It seems to me that this is not a question of licensing, but a
>> question of incubating new code. If we take public domain and
>> redistribute it, we can (do?) become the copyright holders and we
>> would license it under AL 2.0 (by which the RAT question becomes
>> unnecessary).
> i'm not sure that the ASF can really become the copyright holders  
> of the
> original work. apache could relicense it under the AL2.0 but this  
> seems
> a little unnecessary.
>> We should mention in the NOTICE that said artifacts were originally
>> public domain, but we wouldn't need a license file for it as it is
>> covered by AL 2.0.
> noting that these are public domain (in the LICENSE or NOTICE) would
> probably be good enough but relicensing under AL2.0 may be cleaner
>> Instead we are talking about an implied software
>> grant whereby we need to record something with the statement of  
>> public
>> domain at the time we pull it into our repository.
> AIUI this is not the case of software donation to apache (whether
> implied or exlicit) but of third party documents under license (please
> jump in and correct me if i'm wrong). IMHO apache needs to handle this
> latter class of documents in a more sophisticated way including
> recording explicit meta-data.
> (again, i have some analysis on this which needs tidying up and
> blogging)
> - robert

Craig Russell
Architect, Sun Java Enterprise System http://java.sun.com/products/jdo
408 276-5638 mailto:Craig.Russell@sun.com
P.S. A good JDO? O, Gasp!

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