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From "Lawrence Rosen (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-168) Apache Third-Party IP Policies
Date Sun, 16 Jun 2013 18:39:20 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-168?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13684731#comment-13684731

Lawrence Rosen commented on LEGAL-168:

Bringing us back to the topic of Third-Party IP Policies….

Apache publishes “collected and compiled” works that include contributions under (1) an
ICLA or CCLA; (2) a Software Grant; or (3) a license listed on our Apache Software Foundation
"Legal Previously Asked Questions” page, http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html. 

Despite my long participation in Apache activities, and indeed my previous contributions to
many of those published answers, I no longer understand the advice given on that page about
third-party licenses. 

Apache's Third-Party “Software License Criteria” are described on our website as follows:

1.	The license must meet the Open Source Definition.
2.	The license must not place restrictions on the distribution of independent 
        works that simply use or contain the covered work.
3.	The license must not place restrictions on the distribution of larger works, 
        other than to require that the covered component still complies with the 
        conditions of its license.
Item 1 is simple. At this moment in history, the OSD is well-defined by Open Source Initiative
and generally agreed to by the public at large.

Item 2 is slightly more complex. If I understand Item 2 correctly, among OSD-compliant licenses
this criterion applies *only* to the GPL family of licenses. I am aware of no other OSD-compliant
licenses that fail that Item 2 criterion, and the GPL problem is only for “derivative works
through linking”. Were it not for that license interpretation by the Free Software Foundation,
the GPL licenses would be as acceptable for Apache projects as any other OSD-approved licenses.
See http://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html. 

Item 3 is impossibly vague. For example, almost every open source license imposes certain
attribution conditions that must be complied with by *all* licensees. Apache satisfies those
conditions through our NOTICE file in our “collected or compiled” Apache Foo publication.
But be warned: Downstream users are not thereby relieved of those third-party license conditions;
Apache has not “relicensed” those works! As long as our original Apache Foo distribution
is copied without modification, The Apache Software Foundation can reassure you that all third-party
licenses will have been complied with. But once a downstream recipient receives that Apache
Foo software, its own modifications and redistributions are at the recipient’s own risk
and responsibility to comply with all third-party license terms.

What, then, are the acceptable licenses for Item 3? How do we determine (for example) what
attribution conditions in which third-party licenses are acceptable for Apache projects? The
Creative Commons CC-BY license came up for discussion here several weeks ago and I didn't
yet hear a consensus arise.

Any suggestions?


> 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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