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From Louis Suárez-Potts <lui...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-172) Require a copyright notice in source headers
Date Sun, 14 Jul 2013 16:06:49 GMT
I've been lurking and my venture here relates to what I think is a persistent ambiguity.


On 2013-07-14, at 10:54 , "Lawrence Rosen (JIRA)" <jira@apache.org> wrote:

> 
>    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-172?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13708044#comment-13708044
] 
> 
> Lawrence Rosen commented on LEGAL-172:
> --------------------------------------
> 
> Mark Thomas asked:
>> This is still not clear to me. Are you advocating that every single file in our
>> source code repositories that contains a license header also should have a 
>> copyright header?
> 
> I'm not concerned about files that are still under development. But once we publish a
file [1] under our Apache License (i.e., with our license header), we should tell folks that
we are the licensor by including our copyright notice.
> 

Is the licensor the same as owner? I think not, but am probably clumsily wrong. 

But here's an issue.  If Mary owns copyright over file X (where "file' is undefined but operationally
refers to any electronic object that can be bounded, i.e. identified as a discrete thing),
and contributes that file X to Apache, the license becomes Apache 2.0 (or whatever Apache
determines), but the ownership of the file stays with Mary. At this point, Apache is a de
facto publisher, as it makes available to the public all contributions, and these are all
licensed in accordance with Apache's provisions. Within the bounds of the license, Apache
can make the contributions more or less available. But it is not the owner of the contribution;
it is the creator of the license used by them, and it maintains it. Putting any statement
that would make the non lawyers here—like me—confused about who *is* and is not the owner
seems counterproductive. But having a clarification that enunciates that Apache makes the
license used by all work done within the ASF and that that work is incensed under it, would
be useful. But so would the clarification that the code is (or may?) be owned by other(s).
A hint as what that would mean seems unnecessary.

-louis


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