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From Ralph Goers <ralph.go...@dslextreme.com>
Subject Re: IP Clearance
Date Fri, 29 Jul 2011 19:53:46 GMT
Thanks Roy. As usual your clear answers are extremely helpful in providing guidance and making
sure the PMC gets it right.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 29, 2011, at 9:39 AM, "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote:

> On Jul 28, 2011, at 5:17 PM, Ralph Goers 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?  
> Goodwill, respect for the artist, an unwillingness to waste time in pointless
> exercises of he-said-so-I-did, and a general desire to do no harm and follow
> the golden rule.
>> 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.
> When the ASF takes control over the future of a piece of software, such that
> all decisions made in changing that software become the responsibility of
> some part of the ASF, we want the original developer(s) of that software
> to be happy.  One way for us to know they are happy is for them to sign a
> software grant or CCLA.  Another way is for them to send us an email saying
> that it is okay for us to include it, or that they have abandoned the code.
> An SGA is definitely preferred for corporations, since they tend to lose
> their minds every quarter.  These are social issues for a social group
> because that's what we care most about.
> We only ask for that permission once.  If a person sends us a contribution
> and then later (after we have made a release) decides that they don't want
> us to have the code after all, then we tell them it is too late.  We made
> a decision based on the voluntary contribution and that decision is final.
> If, however, we are stupid enough to allow one of our project developers
> to maintain a significant part of our product on some server that is not
> owned or controlled by the ASF, and we don't bother to ensure that the
> source code has been deliberately contributed to the ASF by that developer
> before making it a dependency in one of our products, then we have placed
> that developer in a position of dictating the decisions for our project.
> That is, of course, why such an arrangement has been expressly forbidden
> by the board for the past decade or so: ALL of the source code that WE
> maintain for OUR products MUST BE in our version control repository.
> The amount of documentation we require depends on the amount of effort the
> project intends to apply to that code base in the future.  We don't care
> about simple reuse, such as including an Apache-licensed package within
> one of our packages.  What we care a lot about is code that our
> own volunteers have spent time (and will spend more time) maintaining.
> If the code has not been contributed deliberately to the ASF, and the
> owner is unwilling to do so now, then delete it and walk away.  You can
> package old libraries with the product release so that some features
> remain available, but we end all future work on that codebase.  As soon
> as possible, replace it with a better alternative.  There is no code in
> the universe that is worth any further discussion once it has been
> poisoned by ill will.  Just cut the dead limbs and let the rest of the
> plant grow itself.
> ....Roy
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