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From Doug Cutting <cutt...@apache.org>
Subject Re: LICENSE and NOTICE files and SVN
Date Mon, 14 Jan 2008 17:07:18 GMT
David Jencks wrote:
> 1. Could you explain your concept of "website" as an artifact here?  It 
> seems to me that its entirely possible to view a particular file via svn 
> without knowing much of anything about what else may be in svn.  Why 
> isn't it required to include the contents of the NOTICE file in every 
> source file?  I don't really see how we could expect anyone to find the 
> applicable NOTICE file in svn otherwise.

You're over-thinking this.  The need is for folks who get the code to
also get the NOTICE file.  Placing it at roots intended to be checked
out is a good way to do this, and has been standard practice in most
projects, but has never been documented as a requirement.

Now that you've asked whether it's required, the answer has become
"yes", since it's a good idea to include it, it causes no harm and
inflicts no unreasonable burden.  It doesn't matter that it hasn't been
documented, or even still isn't documented: it just makes good sense to
do it, so we do it.  If a lot of projects aren't yet doing it, then we
should document it to help fix that.

> 2. Assuming that it's plausible for a NOTICE file to be in svn in some 
> more or less well defined location, what are the PMC responsibilities 
> for assuring its accuracy?  For instance, suppose someone includes some 
> source code that requires a change to the NOTICE file, but no one 
> notices this is necessary for a period of time - a minute, a day, a 
> week, until the next release.  IIUC one of the major responsibilities of 
> the PMC vote on a release is to assure the accuracy of the NOTICE files 
> in it.  Does  regarding the svn repo as a distribution imply that the 
> PMC must vote on every commit to assure the NOTICE file is up to date?  
> If not, what accuracy can we assume in the NOTICE file?

Each PMC should attempt to ensure that every commit is in accord with
Apache's intellectual property policies.  Releases are a double-check of
this.  We hope that source code repositories are not legally considered
publications, but we don't know that courts will in fact always treat
them that way, so it's best to guard against that too.  Note that the
extra scrutiny around releases both serves to double-check (belt and
suspenders) as well as to provide evidence that we do not consider the
source code repository as a publication.  But again, we cannot depend on
others to agree with that, and must guard against other interpretations
as best we can.

Doug


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