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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <dennis.hamil...@acm.org>
Subject RE: [legal] ICLA paragraph 7
Date Sat, 13 Aug 2011 22:03:31 GMT
The English-language counterpart of the doctrine you mention is "utilitarian necessity."

I don't think we should get into that.

If the first 26 lines of the templates appear in the files contributed to you, I recommend
that you not touch those lines in any manner.  

Also, let's not assume how the Oracle SGA will be implemented on the templates for the make
files in the grant.  

You do assume that the files offered to you are built on those templates, whether or not the
comments following the top 26 have been customized or removed, yes?

My first concern is that the Apache Software Foundation have a squeaky-clean provenance for
any content that has been touched by a copyright notice and especially an incompatible license.

If it were up to me for a project of mine being licensed under ALv2, I would simply decline
the gift because I don't have the means to satisfy myself that the gift is one I can safely

 - Dennis


I may be over-thinking this situation, and certainly requiring more than might be merited
in this particular case:

An SGA from the author might be called for.  The process for acceptance of third-party software
grants would be applied.  The author could remove the copyright notices and license headers
as part of delivering the items in the grant (as provided in that Apache guidance).

Even then, I think the following questions as important to protect the author from treating
this situation too lightly:

  1. Has the author added any comments or indications of the changes that were made to reach
the state the files are now in?

  2. Are the files in their present form, or a close recent form, been checked in anywhere
that has a change history that can be consulted?

Having said all of that, even if there is a recorded chain of sole authorship apart from that
of the template, I'm personally uncomfortable.  The PPMC might not be so risk averse.  I would
find more comfort if Apache has previously accepted material of this kind without concern
so that could guide the PPMCs determination.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Stahl [mailto:mst@openoffice.org] 
Sent: Saturday, August 13, 2011 14:12
To: legal-discuss@apache.org
Subject: Re: [legal] ICLA paragraph 7

On 13.08.2011 15:00, Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:
> Michael,
> I don't think you should be removing any copyright notices.  Maybe
> the author can do that, but it depends on what the files are derived
> from and whether they are *solely* that author's original work.
> [There is some guidance here, although it is easy to wonder if one is
> sitting on an edge
> case:<http://www.apache.org/legal/src-headers.html>.]
> What other provisions are stated on the files in addition to the
> copyright notice?  Is there a license statement of any kind?
> [It may be inappropriate for TDF to remove those copyright notices
> too, but that's not something we need to address here.]
> - Dennis

the files are most likely derived from this template:


which apparently exists in unchanged form in the LibreOffice repo:


all the unneeded stuff and the comments in the actual content of the 
template is removed in the files i've looked at, but the legal 
boilerplate is there unchanged.

my totally non-qualified opinion is that anything that has survived from 
the original template is necessary because otherwise the makefile 
wouldn't work and thus this "residue" is not copyrightable (what was 
that called... scènes à faire?).

in any case, the template is listed in the SGA from Oracle anyway, so it 
will soon be changed to the standard Apache license header.


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