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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <wr...@rowe-clan.net>
Subject Re: LICENSE and NOTICE files and SVN
Date Tue, 15 Jan 2008 18:49:09 GMT
Doug Cutting wrote:
> simon wrote:
>> On Fri, 2008-01-11 at 12:14 -0800, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>>> That publication (even without a formal release) is still under the
>>> terms of our license, and because the ASF requires a couple lines
>>> in NOTICE for all of our projects, the LICENSE and NOTICE files must
>>> be in subversion (typically at the level under trunk).  The contents
>>> are based on the source code within that tree.
>>>
>>> Tweaking maven such that it appends to the NOTICE file any additional
>>> missing (non source tree) required notices for a particular build is
>>> okay, though I bet it will be error-prone.
>>
>> Sorry, but after reading this several times I still don't get this. It
>> seems to me that the first paragraph says that we must have a static
>> NOTICE file, while the second says that we can have a dynamic one.
> 
> The hard requirement is that public distributions should have a NOTICE 
> file that accurately represents the distribution.  recisely how to 
> achieve this in every conceivable distribution mechanism is not 
> specified, and requires the application of common sense.

Exactly.  If the distribution-unit of code requires components from
three different subversion repositories, and some of the components
have additional NOTICE terms, then the distribution needs the entire
collection in on NOTICE.  Generating this automatically as part of
the RM/distribution process is goodness.

If it's a binary artifact that includes these three subversion sources
PLUS some external components, then the NOTICE grows bigger yet.  Again,
automation is a good thing.

> In the first paragraph, Roy notes that it's a good idea to put a NOTICE 
> file with the code in subversion, since some folks might consider 
> subversion a distribution.  In the second, Roy indicates that, if you're 
> constructing a distribution automatically, then you might be able to 
> construct the NOTICE file automatically too, but that he fears that 
> could be error-prone.  He's applied common sense to the particulars of 
> your situation as he understands it.

Here's where NOTICE should be very narrow, only those which apply
to the subversion tree the developer has checked out.  Don't think
in terms of some binary distribution, but think in terms of developers
who obtain the very latest code, and mutate it into some other purpose.
They need to know the providence of that code.

>> Do we require a static NOTICE file in subversion?
> 
> Yes, some might consider subversion a distribution.

Especially if the project has a link on their developer's "how to
obtain the latest sources from subversion" info page.  There you have
documented how to obtain these *unreleased* sources, and the license
and providence (notice) needs to be especially clear about what they've
checked out or exported.

Part of this conversation and the resulting confusion seems to be about
binary artifacts.  The ASF creates *source code*.  The binaries are a
byproduct of that fact, but projects always create and release source
first, and binaries which are consistent with these sources.  That
includes NOTICEs and LICENSEs (it's a source code license with no
additional restrictions about how the binaries can be consumed.)

The relationship between copyrighted source code and binaries is a
subject for other posts (and JD dissertations ;-)

Bill


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