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From Marvin Humphrey <mar...@rectangular.com>
Subject Re: use of LICENSE and NOTICE
Date Mon, 26 Mar 2012 12:37:34 GMT
On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 2:04 AM, Paul Davis <paul.joseph.davis@gmail.com> wrote:

> Is there a good list of common examples for requires third-party NOTICE
> sections?

See <https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-62>.  The common examples are
apparently 4-clause BSD and Apache License 1.1.

> [1] http://apache.org/legal/resolved.html#required-third-party-notices

There was discussion of adding examples to that FAQ text, which to me seems
like it would have helped a lot -- but that was apparently nixed in order to
keep things "simple".

I found this comment from Roy illuminating as it speaks to the motivation
behind having a NOTICE file in the first place:

    The short answer is that LICENSE contains the terms on redistribution/use,
    whereas NOTICE contains the minimal set of information required by those
    LICENSE terms in the sense of advertising clauses and stuff that needs to be
    displayed in an "About..." box.

    The historical reason why we have them separated is because GPL requires the
    preservation of notices even when it subsumes all other licenses, thus
    preserving our advertising clause in a way that would otherwise have been
    incompatible with the GPL.

I almost feel like I understand NOTICE after reading that. :P

After reading LEGAL-62, LEGAL-59 and the surrounding discussion, I've adopted
the following logic for deciding whether a chunk of IP requires
putting something
into NOTICE:

    IF a copyright notification has been relocated to NOTICE
        THEN that relocated copyright notification belongs in NOTICE.

    IF the license of a bundled dependency is 4-clause BSD or Apache 1.x,
        THEN something belongs in NOTICE.
    ELSE IF the license contains some sort of advertising clause
        THEN something belongs in NOTICE.
    ELSE the license does not require putting anything into NOTICE.

After applying that logic, not much ends up in the typical NOTICE file.

Regardless, IMO the required content of the NOTICE file is so opaque and
confusing that it's guaranteed people will get it wrong much of the time.

Marvin Humphrey

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