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From "Marvin Humphrey (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-155) Please help us educate projects about LICENSE and NOTICE
Date Mon, 14 Jan 2013 06:38:12 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-155?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13552463#comment-13552463
] 

Marvin Humphrey commented on LEGAL-155:
---------------------------------------

> The incubator continues to struggle to educate projects in the proper
> construction and maintenance of LICENSE and NOTICE files. INCUBATOR-125 is
> an attempt to write some documentation. This document suffers from its
> authors' inability to even find a single point of reference on the ASF
> website for theory of these files.

As the person who opened INCUBATOR-125, my opinion is that the reference
documentation for LICENSE and NOTICE under www.apache.org/legal is for the
most part Good Enough.

What we lack is methodical cookbook/howto documentation for creating LICENSE
and NOTICE.  Experience has shown that it is foolishness to point a new PPMC at
licensing reference documentation and expect them to grok it well enough to
start with a blank page and end with acceptable LICENSE and NOTICE files.

If ASF Legal wants to curate this howto, they can have it -- but since
demand always outstrips supply for the legal committee's services, I don't
think we should insist on their participation.  

The only reference documentation I feel is missing from ASF legal is a
description of what requirements each approved third-party license imposes on
NOTICE.  As it stands now, individual PMCs must make those calls, and they
generally get them wrong -- see LEGAL-59.  Having those answers available
would have helped me to write the howto.

However, the NOTICE requirements for three-clause BSD, MIT/X11 and ALv2 are
all reasonably well understood at this point, which covers ~90% of
dependencies and allows us to move forward.  We can open individual LEGAL
issues as the need arises to ask specific targeted questions about more
esoteric licenses -- e.g. whether the Unicode Data license requires any
additions to NOTICE.

> In this area, I have a particular curiosity and concern about convenience
> binaries.

The issue of binary distributions is complex, unresolved and evolving.  We are
never going to get the howto done if we insist on arguing binaries to a
conclusion first.

If we strike every word in the howto relating to binaries can we please drop
the subject and move on?
                
> Please help us educate projects about LICENSE and NOTICE
> --------------------------------------------------------
>
>                 Key: LEGAL-155
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-155
>             Project: Legal Discuss
>          Issue Type: Task
>            Reporter: Benson Margulies
>
> Dear Legal,
> The incubator continues to struggle to educate projects in the proper construction and
maintenance of LICENSE and NOTICE files. INCUBATOR-125 is an attempt to write some documentation.
This document suffers from its authors' inability to even find a single point of reference
on the ASF website for theory of these files. 
> Since podlings are unusual only in their need to set up initial versions, it seems to
me that most of this documentation should be produced and maintained at the foundation level,
and the incubator should be pointing to it, instead of maintain detailed alternatives with
risk of divergence.
> If there is existing documentation, please comment and point me to it. If there is not,
can we collaborate to write it?
> In this area, I have a particular curiosity and concern about convenience binaries.
> A typical Apache project has very limited needs for complexity in these files for its
*releases*. Only sources with external provenance (e.g., results of an SGA) or bundled dependencies
trigger it. Far more dependencies get bundled in convenience binaries. But convenience binaries
are, merely, conveniences, not legally, releases from the foundation. I've never seen any
discussion of this; does the foundation's liability umbrella even extend over them? I doubt
it, for all the usual reasons given in emphasizing that the real release is the source release.
So I wonder about what policies or guidelines should exist for their legal boilerplate.

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