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From "Lawrence Rosen (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-172) Require a copyright notice in source headers
Date Sat, 13 Jul 2013 17:03:49 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-172?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13707785#comment-13707785
] 

Lawrence Rosen commented on LEGAL-172:
--------------------------------------

I would like to thank Craig Russell for a private conversation I had with him about license
headers at Apache. He has helped me to clarify an important word that I am using that perhaps
has different meaning to me and to others. That is the word “file”. 

I use the word “file” as they do in the Mozilla Public License 2.0, although that license
doesn’t exactly define that word either. For example, the MPL defines “Modifications”
in terms of “any file in Source Code Form that….” The FOSS community generally understands
the MPL to be a *weak copyleft license* because, unlike the GPL, the licensed artifact is
the Covered Software file itself but not other files that may be included in or linked to
the Covered Software distribution. I have long admired the MPL license for this weak copyleft
feature (although in the past I complained about its failure to actually define “file”).

Regarding license headers, I have suggested the following ASF policy change:

     If a short header includes "Licensed under Apache License 2.0" it better also 
     contain a valid copyright notice (identifying ASF or someone else as its owner)
     or we shouldn't publish it.

To complete that thought: 

     A short header is only necessary on “files” that are separately distributed by Apache.


I analogize this to the copyright concepts of collective works and compilations: When a publisher
distributes a compilation of poems stapled together as one book, there is no need to place
a copyright notice on each individual poem. (Although, on the Internet the practice is different,
and each page of articles on, e.g., Huffington Post, is usually so marked; each page is designed
to be printed separately by the user.) Nor is there a need to mark each poem in a compilation
with a separate licensing notice. Publishers usually include front material in their compilations,
similar to our NOTICE file, that summarizes such things.

So please interpret my copyright notice recommendation in light of this. We need ONLY ONE
header notice in works that are published by us stapled together as one file. Our accompanying
NOTICE file covers that entire work, and a single notice of the following form will protect
the entire work:

     Copyright (C) 2013 The Apache Software Foundation. Licensed under Apache License 2.0.

Of course, differently licensed *components* within that compiled Apache work must be identified
in the accompanying NOTICE file. (I use here the word “compiled” as in copyright law,
not computer science!) 

/Larry 

                
> Require a copyright notice in source headers
> --------------------------------------------
>
>                 Key: LEGAL-172
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-172
>             Project: Legal Discuss
>          Issue Type: Question
>            Reporter: Sam Ruby
>            Assignee: Sam Ruby
>
> The current ASF Source Header and Copyright Notice Policy does not include, and actively
discourages, any copyright notice in the header:
> http://www.apache.org/legal/src-headers.html
> Larry Rosen has requested that any source file that contains a license header also include
a copyright notice[1], and that his vote be counted[2].  This JIRA tracks these requests.
> The vote itself will take place on the legal-discuss mailing list, start shortly after
this month's board meeting on Wednesday, July 17th, and will continue through Sunday July
21st with the results published on Monday July 22nd.  Only votes from members of the Legal
Affairs Committee PMC, as recorded in [3] will be considered binding.  To pass, the vote will
need a minimum of three +1's and more +1's than -1's.
> Prior discussion of this issue:
> http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/www-legal-discuss/200502.mbox/browser#msg-12
> https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-114
> https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-124
> https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-168
> More references can be found here:
> https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-114?focusedCommentId=13679229&page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel#comment-13679229
> Footnotes:
> [1] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-114?focusedCommentId=13704820&page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel#comment-13704820
> [2] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-114?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13702248#comment-13702248
> [3] https://svn.apache.org/repos/private/committers/board/committee-info.txt

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