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From Craig L Russell <craig.russ...@oracle.com>
Subject Re: [legal] ICLA paragraph 7
Date Fri, 12 Aug 2011 22:28:48 GMT
Normally, paragraph 7 is used to allow commits of code from non- 
committer contributors such as patch writers, before they become  
committers on projects.

It's not normally used for bulk submissions of code.

More below...

On Aug 12, 2011, at 11:06 AM, Michael Stahl wrote:

> hi legal-discuss,
> i've got a question as to what extent an ICLA from the copyright  
> holder is required for code contributions.
> the ICLA contains this paragraph:
>> 7. Should You wish to submit work that is not Your original creation,
>>   You may submit it to the Foundation separately from any
>>   Contribution, identifying the complete details of its source and of
>>   any license or other restriction (including, but not limited to,
>>   related patents, trademarks, and license agreements) of which you
>>   are personally aware, and conspicuously marking the work as
>>   "Submitted on behalf of a third-party: [named here]".
> so it seems to me that an ICLA from the copyright holder is not an  
> absolute requirement to contribute to Apache.

Right. Small amounts of contributions are allowed without an ICLA.
> is there any restriction in scope or otherwise for this paragraph?

No, it's somewhat vague. But the intent is that the contribution is  
voluntary and small in scope (whatever that means to the contributor).
> what exactly are the process requirements?

Projects have different processes, but a common practice is that the  
author contributes code via a JIRA specifically marking the work as a  
contribution (tick box).
> my assumption is that the Committer must ask the potential  
> contributor whether they actually hold the copyright.

> i guess "submit it separately" means that it must be its own SVN  
> commit, not mixed with anything the Committer wrote him/herself.

> is it sufficient to put something like this into the SVN commit  
> message:
> "Submitted on behalf of a third party: [author name]; no licensing  
> restrictions"
> context:
> a volunteer who is currently working in GSoC over at LibreOffice  
> (who has not signed an Apache ICLA) has given me permission to  
> contribute a bunch of makefiles that he wrote, with no licensing  
> restriction.

This sounds like a contradiction. If there are ~1000 lines of  
boilerplate licensing headers, how come there is no licensing  
restriction? Licenses are in large part about restrictions. The most  
common restriction is the requirement to include the licensing terms  
themselves in downstream distributions. This is not an onerous  
requirement but it is a restriction. Even the DWTFYW license http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl/ 
  has the restriction that you can only change it if you also change  
the name!

> in this case we are talking about ~30 new files, totalling ~2000 lines
> (of which ~1000 are the boilerplate licensing headers...).

Again, the project has to establish its processes, but the cleanest  
way to handle it is for the author to submit the contribution via a  
JIRA. Some people think the JIRA route is easier than any other.

IMHO 2000 lines of code is borderline for a submission without an  
ICLA. Best to discuss on your project mail list and have the project  

But don't wait for a definitive answer from this mail list. You are  
unlikely to get one. And if someone gives you a definitive answer  
someone else will contradict it.

> regards,
> michael
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Craig L Russell
Secretary, Apache Software Foundation
clr@apache.org http://db.apache.org/jdo

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