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From Benson Margulies <bimargul...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: To IP Clearance? or not?
Date Thu, 31 Jan 2013 20:18:28 GMT
Larry, this isn't a legal issue. It's a cultural issue. Roy has been
very clear on the 'voluntary' nature of contributions as an essential
characteristic of how we work. Since I personally think this is a good
thing, I find it easy to accept his statements as settled policy. If
Greg and others have different views, well, that's a point of
departure for a conversation.

It has been my recent experience that mentioning Roy in a message here
tends to elicit his own statement on the topic, so I look forward to
reading it.

In practical terms, people who choose the AL are hardly ever stingy in
responding to a polite request for a voluntary contribution. So I'd
advise asking first, and splitting policy hairs only if needed.



On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 7:49 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:
> Benson Margulies wrote:
>> 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.
>
> The only  legal IP issue here is whether ASF can *rely* (for IP clearance
> purposes) on something *other than an intentional contribution*? The answer
> is "yes" with certain IP notices required to protect our projects and our
> downstream users. As I understand it, our procedures also require certain
> due diligence relating to the license of that third-party code. [1] That's
> largely settled policy for the Incubator and all other Apache projects.
>
> An intentional contribution is one made to ASF under an ICLA, CCLA or SGA
> signed by an individual or organization intentionally contributing code to
> us. We rely on those promises.
>
> Even if some code we need is not *intentionally contributed* to Apache, we
> can reach out on the web and take any copy of it made available to the
> public under an open source license.  There is no reason to ask the author
> of that code for his or her additional permission or consent. The license is
> sufficient to rely on for IP clearance purposes.
>
> There may be, in some Apache projects, additional policy issues whether to
> import large blocks of code available under FOSS licenses or whether to
> start from scratch. But I don't believe this is an IP clearance problem.
>
> /Larry
>
> [1] http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html
>
> Lawrence Rosen
> Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com)
> 3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482
> Office: 707-485-1242
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Greg Stein [mailto:gstein@gmail.com]
> Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 9:09 AM
> To: legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: Re: To IP Clearance? or not?
>
> 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
>
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