www-legal-discuss mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: updating w.a.o/legal/resolved for Creative Commons Attribution
Date Sat, 25 May 2013 17:03:47 GMT
Larry Rosen wrote:

> > I mean only that the original work 
> > remains available to others under the same terms under which you 
> > received that code (from the original licensor and, if you are nice,
> > from you too). 

Jeffrey Thompson responded: 
> I agree that someone distributing Apache code under a 

> different license doesn't negate the rights still 

> available from the original authors.

Sam Ruby wrote:

> There is code at the ASF that others have incorporated and have released under

>  various versions of GPL licenses.  And others have have released under 

> proprietary (non-open source) licenses.  Of course, these actions don't prevent 

> people who desire access to the original source to get such from the original 

> source -- namely us.


I agree with that much.


As I responded to Jeffrey about CC-BY, I was talking about contributions we incorporate into
Apache software and then distribute to our licensees. This was in the context of a suggestion
that we remove CC-BY from Category A of our list of allowed licenses at http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html.


To repeat what most of you already know, all copyrighted works that Apache incorporates into
our projects remain under their original licenses. We (ASF) do not have the right to change
those licenses. We only have the right (collectively) to distribute our derivative and collective
works incorporating those original works to our public under an ASF copyright. We only own
the copyright in the derivative or collective work and we can control that work with the Apache
License – but we don’t own or control the copyright in the components. See 17 USC 103(b).
[I assume nobody assigns their copyrights to ASF, which is a different legal construct.]


In that context, I question the very rationale for the Category A and B licenses that we list.


Those licenses we do approve in Category A have some interesting conditions that I bet we
and our downstream users don’t always satisfy. Listed at the end of this email are some
examples of conditions in one or more of those approved Category A licenses. We do, of course,
say this: “Many of these licenses have specific attribution terms that need to be adhered
to, for example CC-A, often by adding them to the NOTICE file. Ensure you are doing this when
including these works.” (I added the underlining to point out that the attribution portion
of CC-BY must have been analyzed previously by someone here at Apache! Why are we doing it


I suggest that the conditions in CC-BY are not substantially more onerous than the ones we
do accept, although perhaps we ought to talk with our friends at Creative Commons to get them
to simplify their attribution license. I note also that Luis Villa intends to blog his own
feedback on CC-BY because he sees some problems with it for use at W3C that we haven’t even
talked about here. I’ll forward that link when I receive it from him.


I’m not suggesting that we like CC-BY, only that the rationale by which we determine whether
to list it is incomplete and inconsistent.


Worse yet, the conditions in all those approved Category A licenses apply to our downstream
Apache licensees as well. We (ASF) can’t change those existing licenses. Anyone who intends
to take an Apache work and modify it had better read all the licenses that apply to it. Are
our NOTICE files up-to-date with respect to these components in our software?


If we only want licenses in Category A that don’t have conditions that affect us or our
licensees, we had better purge that list! 


I also suggest that we’re being both under-inclusive and over-inclusive on our Category
A list. The GPL is an example of a license that we refuse to include in our Apache software,
so we reject it for Category A. The reason for this has nothing to do with its conditions,
since we can avoid the consequences of that license simply by not distributing derivative
works of GPL software. We reject the GPL because we want to honor the legal interpretation
of “derivative works by linking” promulgated by the FSF, not because we agree with that
rationale. See http://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html. 


So I hope someone can explain more clearly the rationale for Category A so we can unambiguously
evaluate licenses.




******** text copied from Category A licenses listed at http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html:


(C) If you distribute any portion of the software, you must retain all copyright, patent,
trademark, and attribution notices that are present in the software.
(D) If you distribute any portion of the software in source code form, you may do so only
under this license by including a complete copy of this license with your distribution. If
you distribute any portion of the software in compiled or object code form, you may only do
so under a license that complies with this license.




provided, however, that the BeOpen Python License is retained in the
Software, alone or in any derivative version prepared by Licensee.




·         Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list
of conditions and the following disclaimer.

·         Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this
list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials
provided with the distribution.



The full text of this NOTICE in a location viewable to users of the redistributed or derivative


2. Any pre-existing intellectual property disclaimers, notices, or terms and conditions. If
none exist, a short notice of the following form (hypertext is preferred, text is permitted)
should be used within the body of any redistributed or derivative code: "Copyright © [$date-of-software]
World Wide Web Consortium, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institut National de Recherche
en Informatique et en Automatique, Keio University). All Rights Reserved. http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/"

3. Notice of any changes or modifications to the W3C files, including the date changes were
made. (We recommend you provide URIs to the location from which the code is derived.)

View raw message