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From Noah Slater <nsla...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-172) Require a copyright notice in source headers
Date Mon, 15 Jul 2013 11:40:37 GMT

On 13 July 2013 21:15, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote:

> I urge only that every *separable* file that ASF publishes for which we
> assert "Licensed under the Apache License 2.0" also contain a copyright
> notice identifying *who* is the licensor. In most cases, that will be The
> Apache Software Foundation as the publisher of that separable work.

It occurs to me that this point may be a major source of confusion in this
thread (and the few other related threads and JIRA tickets).

Larry, by and large, Apache projects do not publish separable files. They
publish collections of files, known as releases. Each release contains a
top level NOTICE and LICENSE file, and all of the files within that release
make reference to this.

I agree that if a project is publishing a *single*, *standalone* file, then
it would be prudent to attribute copyright. In fact, our standard
boilerplate cannot even apply in these circumstances, as the boilerplate
was written for inclusion within a release, and makes reference to other
files that would would only make sense within that context.

So perhaps we are all talking at cross purposes?

I see to separate discussions here:

1. Do we include copyright notices in all source files *of a release*.
(Where "release" means a compilation of files that includes a top-level
copyright notice.)

2. Do we include copyright notices in files that are not a part of a
release. (i.e. Web pages we publish, release notes, and so on.)

I think the answers to those questions are:

1. No.

2. Yes.

In fact, CouchDB (one of my projects) already does this. If you look at the
files within our releases, you will find only one copyright notice for the
CouchDB code, and that is at the top-level of the compilation. And if you
look at our website,[1] you will see this: "Copyright © 2012 The Apache
Software Foundation — Apache CouchDB, CouchDB, and the project logo are
trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation". Note that we do not even
mention a license!

[1] http://couchdb.apache.org/

So, if we want to standardise how we attribute copyright in files that
*outside of a release* then I think that is a worthwhile discussion.
(Perhaps it has been addressed already? I do not recall seeing such a


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