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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, 28 Jan 2013 21:03:13 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-155?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13564676#comment-13564676

Marvin Humphrey commented on LEGAL-155:

> I think projects bundling artifacts should take the N&L files at face value.

Ah, that clarifies our disagreement.

I've been considering the recursion mandatory.

> If an included dependency has items missing from its NOTICE or LICENSE
> files, that is for the relevant project to sort out, and address in a
> subsequent release.  At which point, the current project needs to review the
> N&L as before.
> I don't believe the bundling project should be responsible for checking
> further. 

We can't relieve them of the responsibility.  If a dependency pulls in a
copyleft child dependency unnoticed, the top-level distribution still has

However, all we're doing is providing suggestions about how to assemble
LICENSE and NOTICE, not establishing policy.  Furthermore, the missing info is
often just a documentation bug -- whether or not the licensing info propagates
upwards to the top-level LICENSE and NOTICE does not generally affect the
legitimacy of bundling the bits.

So while I maintain that a recipe specifying recursive dependency traversal is
more correct, providing a recipe that only deals with direct dependencies is
probably good enough.
> 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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