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From Greg Stein <gst...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: MPLv2 on AL2 header review ...
Date Wed, 30 May 2012 22:42:54 GMT
On May 30, 2012 9:06 AM, "Michael Meeks" <michael.meeks@suse.com> wrote:
> Hi Greg,
>        Good to see you here :-) and thank you for the helpful
> feedback and discussion. It can only be hoped that I'll eventually
> find the hermenutical key I'm apparently missing around the ALv2.

Woah. I may have won on acronyms, but that is the first time I've ever
seen "hermenutical" (sic).  Had to go look it up. Perfect word :-) You
win on the 25-cent word :-)

> > Your larger Work can be released under MPLv2, but there is no right
> > under ALv2 for you to relicense that *specific* code.

There are two Works, as Larry states more clearly. Our Work under
ALv2, and yours under MPLv2. The portions that come from us are always

>        Perhaps it's worth referencing the ALv2 text, and perhaps to
> simplify, can we take it for read that the 'Work' is Apache OO.o
> (incubating)'s recent release, and that Licensor is the ASF.
>        The distinction between the Work itself, and a trivial subset
> of the Work (as made by eg. deleting all files except perhaps the
> NOTICE, a copy of the ALv2 and a single file of interest with a
> modified notice) is not that clear to me either. Are you arguing for a
> real distinction there ? Surely the ALv2 allows re-use of portions of
> the Work as well as the whole.


But when you narrow the work, you might end up with a file under the
MIT license (such as our copy of Expat with apr-util). You could take
that file under its original license, discarding the the larger Work's

Similar situation with your Work's MPLv2 getting stripped down to some
of its contituent parts and their licenses.

> > (it seems you've already got this part, given else-thread, but
> > hoping to clarify; redistribution vs relicense)
>        So - I suspect that the term the ALv2 uses in section 2 is
> sub-license here "each Contributor grants to You a ... copyright
> license to ... sublicense, and distribute the Work and
> such Derivative works in Source or Object form". Does that help ?
> clearly 're-licensing' as previously discussed is a rather imprecise
> description. Perhaps sub-licensing the Source form of the Work under
> the MPLv2 is more helpful ?

You still can't change the license of pieces. In this situation, I
read "sublicense" as you have been licensed to (sub)license to
another. ie. transitive, not transformative.

Take our Work. Apply your bits, call that your Work, and license the
latter under MPLv2.

>        I was lead to believe that one of the flagship benefits of the
> ALv2 was the ability to ship binaries with or without modifications to
> any given file, under your choice of license. I see only small
> differences between the treatment of Source and Object forms in the
> license. Does a different situation hold for the Source form ?

It depends on whether you're talking an entire Work, or focusing on
its constituent parts. Pretty much any license for a new, derivative
Work is compatible with the ALv2. That's where you get your freedom of

But whatever you choose, "our" (the ASF) parts are still ALv2.

And that is where Source comes in. If you only get binaries, it makes
it very hard to use your ALv2 rights. I suspect there is an argument
that the binaries you receive might not contain any ALv2 rights since
our collective set of copyrights (and, thus, what gets licensed) are
on the source, rather than the object code. Then again, a machine
transformation may not be creative enough. We're getting off course,
maybe :-)

> I hear
> about Section 5 in the context of changes to the code automatically
> being under the ALv2. My reading of Section 5. is that Licensor is the
> ASF, and thus since none of those changes will be intentionally
> submitted to ASF's infrastruture etc. - none of them will be available
> to others under the ALv2.

I'm unclear on this aspect, to be honest. Let's just say that I would
recommend continuing your contribution statements. (Or even better:
collect actual CLAs)

I don't think you want to be in a situation where somebody argues a
patch to a file licensed under ALv2 by the ASF can be construed as
applicable to *our* codebase regardless of the location of that patch.

>        It is of course, possible that freedesktop.org (or whomever
> hosts the repository) becomes the Licensor as they re-distribute ALv2
> covered code: is that a common interpretation ? that would create a
> network of sub-licensing under the same ALv2 license which seems
> reasonable; or is it Apache's interpretation that it remains the
> Licensor as the Work is re-distributed ?

We're the Licensor for the Work we distribute under the ALv2. Your
Work, distributed under MPLv2, has different terms.

If somebody extracts a portion that has none of your derivations, then
they might be able to argue we could be the Licensor, and (thus)
Contributions fall back to us.

Now... all this said, I'll reiterate something Roy has been saying for
the past few months: the ASF doesn't want to accept any contributions
that the author(s) does not want us to have. IOW, we aren't going to
aggressively interpret our license and scour the web for patches and
say that we're allowed to apply them to our codebase. So most of the
above details about who/how are likely a bit theoretical. Patches on
your mailing lists would only be applied against your codebase, and
would (thus) be distributed as part of LibreOffice under the MPLv2.

(tho the author *could* also submit them to AOO; that is their right)

>        It is also unclear to me that a sub-license of the Work
> eg. with proprietary changes, under a commercial license is itself the
> Work. That may also interact with Section 5's use of Contribution:
> "for inclusion in the Work".


> On Wed, 2012-05-30 at 05:20 -0400, Greg Stein wrote:
> > >        More likely it is me that is confused :-) However, I believe the
> > > (C) aspect is an unrelated, and now closed red-herring.
> >
> > It would seem that all the commits made under the TDF CLA (ISTR you
> > had one for your committers; and wow... three acronyms in a
> > row... do I win?) are licensed to the TDF under MPLv2. The rest of
> > LO is under ALv2 post-rebasing.
>        You definitely win the acronym war :-) This seems to be
> a re-statement of the impossibility of sub-licensing ALv2 covered Work
> under the MPLv2 without adding any work of authorship; hopefully we
> can clarify how that is proscribed in response to the above.


> > (and a secondary issue of how to describe copyright ownership, if at all)
>        Yep - I think that is settled :-)
>        Anyhow - thanks for the input ! sorry for so many, no doubt
> rather basic questions all at once.

We all muddle through, and hope for clarity from the Real Lawyers :-)
(such as Larry's contribution to this thread)


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