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From Sam Ruby <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Re: IP Clearance
Date Fri, 29 Jul 2011 11:07:49 GMT
On Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 8:17 PM, Ralph Goers <ralph.goers@dslextreme.com> wrote:
> OK.  This is obviously a statement on policy, not legality, which is fine.
>  However, I'd like to understand the rationale for the policy a bit better
> rather than just accepting a blanket statement.  Are their some consequences
> I'm not thinking about or aware of in using code we are legally entitled to?
>  Is it just a matter of preserving goodwill?

My perspective is that it is much more than that.

My your reasoning, we would never require an ICLA.  And if the code in
question is small and obvious enough, that is clearly defensible.
When we are talking more than that, adding an ICLA adds clarity.  As
does a Software Grant.

None of these are the only way to obtain such clarity, but often times
the easiest.

> Again, I'm simply trying to reconcile this policy with the fact that we
> won't give software grants to anyone because we tell them the Apache license
> is all they need.  I've actually had this question for quite a while as I've
> looked at some of the things that are listed as being donated
> at http://incubator.apache.org/ip-clearance/index.html and in several cases
> I don't understand what extra value the grant provides over the software
> license.

Apparently you have never had the joy of working for a large,
conservative corporation with deep pockets.  We have had several
instances of a user doing their own code scans, identifying issues
that we had inadvertently overlooked, and these issues were reported
to the appropriate PMC which promptly addressed the issue.

We don't publish software grants publicly for privacy reasons.  I have
in the past, and intend to in the future, answer simple factual
questions about the existence of these documents without revealing
personal information.

Meanwhile, I encourage us to move on to questions that relate to an
actual plan, and not dwell on hypotheticals.  Is it possible that
under some circumstances we would decide to pursue an unfriendly fork
without consulting the owners of a piece of code?  I wouldn't rule
that out, but I will insist that the end result not be an end run
around the ASF requirement that PMCs provide appropriate oversight
over the provenance of their code bases.

> Ralph

- Sam Ruby

> On Jul 28, 2011, at 11:48 AM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:
> At Apache, all contributions are voluntary.  We do not accept code
> from copyright owners who don't want us to have it, even if we have
> the legal right to adopt it for other reasons.
> ....Roy
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