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From Greg Stein <gst...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: To IP Clearance? or not?
Date Thu, 31 Jan 2013 18:35:21 GMT
On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 1:13 PM, David Nalley <david@gnsa.us> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 12:08 PM, Greg Stein <gstein@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Jan 31, 2013 11:47 AM, "Benson Margulies" <bimargulies@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 4:38 PM, David Nalley <david@gnsa.us> wrote:
>>> > Hi folks:
>>> >
>>> > CloudStack is currently discussing adding some code which includes
>>> > some chunks of 3rd party code that is licensed under ALv2. [1]
>>> >
>>> > Essentialy the situation is:
>>> >
>>> > * Developer found some ALv2 code that fit a specific need from a
>>> > non-ASF open source project that is in the same space.
>>> > * Developer modified that code to work in CloudStack
>>> > * Developer submitted that for review/inclusion, at which point
>>> > someone noted the Copyright attributions and our discussion began.
>>> > * If accepted (and I think the assumption is that it would be) the
>>> > code would be included in the CloudStack codebase and distributed in
>>> > future CloudStack releases.
>>> > * The total line count is around 1500 lines of code that wasn't
>>> > developed specifically for CloudStack
>>> The issue here is the absolute requirements that all code
>>> contributions be _voluntary_. The policy has been that ' very small'
>>> bits of code under 'category A' licenses can be committed, but, if
>>> it's larger than small, it must be actively contributes by its author.
>>> Whether we need IP clearance is again a matter of judgement based on
>>> size.
>>> It strikes me as too big to be collected without active participation
>>> from the author, but I leave it to others to comment on whether it's
>>> big enough to require full IP clearance.
>> No no... You're talking about code that arrives with the intent on
>> *moving* its locus of development to the ASF. The IP clearance is
>> needed to ensure we have the necessary rights to do the work here. It
>> sounds like this is (and will remain) a third-party library. That its
>> development location isn't moving here.
>> If the code is merely a dependent library, pulled into our version
>> control for ease of packaging, then that's just fine. In httpd, we do
>> that with PCRE. In APR, we do that with Expat. There is ample
>> precedent, as long as the code is properly marked (ie. leave all of
>> its headers alone, noting the correct copyright holder and license).
>> If the code is a third-party library, and further work is intended,
>> then I would suggest a vendor branch. Check in the original library
>> onto a vendor branch, copy that into trunk, and apply changes into
>> trunk. For "large" modifications (for some suitable definition of
>> "large"), then it may be desirable to apply additional ASF headers
>> into the files, noting "portions are copyright ASF, and subject to
>> ALv2" (or whatever the right text is; you get the idea)
>> So... IP clearance in this situation depends on long-term intent, I would say.
>> Cheers,
>> -g
> This was 3rd party code - but it has already been morphed and
> development was continued on that code outside of the 'upstream' and
> is expected to continue to diverge within our codebase. So effectively
> we are talking about adopting this code and making it ours, not just
> inclusion for convenience.

We have no formal, written policy against forking outside projects
into Apache, but several "old timers" have suggested we have an
unwritten policy. Mostly based on it being anti-social or somesuch.

My personal position is to try and avoid it. Otherwise, to create a
vendor branch, so you can see how we diverged from upstream. And
hopefully, some kind of attempt to get some of those changes merged

As long as we obey their license, and include appropriate info into
LICENSE and NOTICE, then (IMO) this is exactly how Open Source is
supposed to work. From a social standpoint, clarifying our divergence
is a Good Thing, and the vendor branch helps there.

I would recommend an IP clearance form, to clarify we have the rights
to (further) develop those 1500 lines here at the ASF.


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