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From Henri Yandell <bay...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Maven, redistribution and licenses
Date Wed, 19 May 2010 00:29:08 GMT
On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 3:51 PM, Bruno Harbulot
<Bruno.Harbulot@manchester.ac.uk> wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm not sure if this is the right place to discuss this topic since it's
> probably not the ASF's problem strictly speaking, but since Maven is an
> Apache project, I would appreciate some informal advice from people with
> more legal expertise than me on a discussion I started on the Maven Users
> list:
>  http://markmail.org/message/ny42hzbebnh2befb

Yep, the repository is definitely not owned by the ASF.

> The facts on which I'm basing my reasoning are that, in my opinion:
> - Hosting software on http://repo2.maven.org/maven2/ (for example) is a form
> of redistribution and falls under the notions of "redistribution" and
> "conveying" common to a number of OSS licences (Apache, GPL, LGPL, BSD, MIT
> at least).

Sounds like a sane piece of reasoning.

An open question would be who is doing the distributing - are they
being akin to an ISP or are they the primary distributor.

> - A publisher's omission to include a licence doesn't grant whoever gets
> hold of that software a licence to redistribute it unconditionally.

I think this is a bit fluffier. I would think that it doesn't grant,
but it equally doesn't indicate it's not granted.

> Could anyone comment on whether these two points are correct (I suppose it
> might depend on the territoriality too)?
> To put this in context, I'm trying to argue that Maven should do a bit more
> to help respect the licences and that the central repository currently
> doesn't in a number of cases, since a number of jars don't have any licence
> information in them or associated with them.
> (I'm not trying to have a legal battle, but I'm making suggestions to
> improve the system.)

I would expect the owners of the repository to basically say:

* If anyone is distributing artifacts through the repositories that
they/we don't have the right to distribute; we will remove it. That's
definitely happened in the past and I think was a major player in
getting Sun to stop releasing standard APIs under ugly non-friendly
* Improving the mechanisms for license management is a great thing.


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