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From "Lawrence Rosen (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-168) Apache Third-Party IP Policies
Date Tue, 11 Jun 2013 21:30:20 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-168?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13680699#comment-13680699

Lawrence Rosen commented on LEGAL-168:

"Apache as a publisher of software"

There seems to a fundamental confusion on this list about what kind of intellectual property
Apache actually creates and distributes. The Apache Software Foundation is the publisher of
software works collected and compiled in Apache projects by our members and contributors for
the public. 

The words “collected” and “compiled” are terms of art. U.S. copyright law defines
them by example only, unfortunately, and there are many cases that explicate those meager
definitions, so don’t expect that I can define them precisely here. But in summary such
collections and compilations are works in which “a number of contributions, constituting
separate and independent works in themselves” are “selected, coordinated, or arranged
in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship.”
17 USC 101. There is no standard degree of originality required for such collected or compiled
“original” works.

That is what we create here at The Apache Software Foundation. We are authorized by law to
place our copyright notice on those collections and compilations. These are *our* works, and
we own them. 

Our copyright notices serve to protect our own publications although, because our Apache License
is so permissive and we are so litigation averse, there is not much of our own copyrights
that we seek to protect. However, our copyright notices also protect the copyrights in the
“separate and independent works” that we collect and compile. 17 USC 404(a). Our notices
protect the intellectual property of our contributors.

In this context compare the Apache Software Foundation to many other modern publishers who
accept contributions from many independent authors. Some publishers (e.g. Huffington Post)
identify the contributors by name and others (e.g., The Economist) don’t. But all such publishers
place their own copyright notices on their publications, online or in print. 

I encourage readers on this list to explore how other publishers are handling the complex
copyright issues that affect their business (or free!) models. We can learn from them how
to do it right.

> Apache Third-Party IP Policies
> ------------------------------
>                 Key: LEGAL-168
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-168
>             Project: Legal Discuss
>          Issue Type: Question
>            Reporter: Lawrence Rosen
> I'd like to help the Apache community to discuss Apache Software Foundation policies
regarding contributions of copyrighted works from third parties in order for us to publish
them at the Apache website. 
> This discussion is now scattered among many JIRA issues and email archives. For example,
a recent thread here reconstructed my own correspondence about this to the legal-discuss@
list in 2005 -- and then misinterpreted what I'd said then. So I want this new JIRA issue
where I am free to say what I want when I want to say it, without obstruction from issue-jumpers
and list-jumpers around here who try to discourage coherent arguments.
> I'll probably be wrong in some of what I say. I will sign my own comments here and I
will read (and perhaps respond to) any comments from anyone who signs his or her name here
also. I will particularly welcome comments from the attorneys on this list, at least those
who aren't too cowardly or too busy to speak up. If you don't enjoy legal controversy, don't
read this JIRA thread.
> Best regards,
> /Larry
> P.S. More to come....

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