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From Marvin Humphrey <mar...@rectangular.com>
Subject Re: LICENSE file question
Date Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:33:49 GMT
On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 9:39 PM, Alex Harui <aharui@adobe.com> wrote:
> I'm a bit confused by some of what I'm learning from discussion threads and
> policy documents.

(For reference, here's the most germane thread from general@incubator:

> A recent thread says that for a source release, the BSD license does not go
> in LICENSE and the BSD license requirements are satisfied by the BSD license
> and copyright in the headers of these third-party files.

If we read the plain language of the 2-clause and 3-clause BSD licenses, they
say that for source redistributions we *must* leave the license text intact
within source files.

    1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice,
       this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

Whether we require Apache projects to add something to LICENSE when
2-clause/3-clause BSD content is present is a matter of ASF policy, not law.

For binary redistributions, a different provision kicks in.

> Meanwhile, the Licensing How-To [1] also says: "In LICENSE, add a pointer to
> the dependency's license" but the paragraph seems to be referring to
> dependencies that are essentially entire libraries, consumed untouched.

Indeed, that accurately describes the expectation of the how-to.

The situation you describe with loose BSD files interspersed among "our
own" ALv2 files is not really covered by the how-to.

> In this case, FlexUnit (version 4.x) is a next-generation, mostly re-written
> version that includes a subset of the Adobe BSD files.  In the current
> release candidate, the fact that there are Adobe BSD files in the
> distribution is not mentioned in README, LICENSE or NOTICE.  You won't find
> out until you open one of the Adobe BSD files.

>From a legal standpoint, the BSD licenses are not being violated.

However, as far as Apache releases go, omitting any mention of them does not
follow convention.  We try to have the top-level LICENSE and NOTICE document
the licensing for all IP present in the package.

> A related question is: is a "dependency" the same as a third-party work?
> IOW, are the Adobe BSD files in the source kit that are also checked into
> the repo still considered a dependency?

Intermingling source files under multiple licenses is messy and not ideal.  In
general, Apache communities may only develop works under the Apache License.

We may bundle dependencies, but they are typically kept separate from our own
works by location within the file system hierarchy.

Personally, I would prefer to call these intermingled files a "bundled
dependency" despite the messiness.  I don't think Flex should consider them to
be part of our product.

Marin Humphrey

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