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From Mark Thomas <ma...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Using content from StackOverflow
Date Mon, 28 Apr 2014 12:20:14 GMT
On 27/04/2014 22:09, Chip Childers wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 27, 2014 at 01:22:53PM -0700, Henri Yandell wrote:
>> While listening to the Apache board meeting, I heard that projects are
>> considering using StackOverflow instead of user mailing lists. I wanted to
>> raise a licensing issue, and suggest a FAQ item regarding use of
>> StackOverflow.
>> The issue is that StackOverflow, and associated sites, use the CC-SA
>> license for user submitted content, including any code. This is a strong
>> copyleft license and as such unlikely to be in "Category A" (ie: content we
>> include inside Apache project source).
>> I propose we add the following FAQ to cover this:
>> "Qn: Can an Apache project use content from StackOverflow?"
>> "Ans: If the content is clearly being intentionally submitted to the
>> project, then the project can use that content under the Apache 2.0 license
>> per clause 5 of the Apache 2.0 license, and the StackOverflow license need
>> not apply to our use. Otherwise, the project need to confirm with the
>> author of the content that it is intended for submission to the project, at
>> which point they can use the content under the Apache 2.0 license per the
>> above. "
>> Thoughts?
>> Hen
>> [Note - neither this email nor any of my emails on legal-discuss@ are legal
>> advice, and I’m not speaking for my employer.]
> Hen,
> It seems like most of the talk about using StackOverflow is for end user
> support.  Would it make more sense to adjust the answer to "yes for end
> user support, but not for project contributions"?

No, it wouldn't because that answer is incorrect. All that will do is
cause more confusion further down the line when someone who is taking a
contribution from SO (and doing so within the terms of ALv2 because it
is explicitly marked as a contribution) gets told they can't do that by
someone who doesn't understand the licensing issues because of this
incorrect answer on the legal FAQ.

> This might avoid any confusion about licensing and help ensure that
> StackOverflow isn't being used as a development decision making
> location.

If there is confusion about licensing then we need to address the
confusion rather than trying to "simplify" things by posting incorrect
answers to FAQs.


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