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From "Mattmann, Chris A (3980)" <chris.a.mattm...@jpl.nasa.gov>
Subject Re: Public domain v. Apache ICLA
Date Fri, 16 May 2014 20:13:28 GMT
+1 Larry.


Chris Mattmann, Ph.D.
Chief Architect
Instrument Software and Science Data Systems Section (398)
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA 91109 USA
Office: 168-519, Mailstop: 168-5th floor
Email: chris.a.mattmann@nasa.gov
WWW:  http://sunset.usc.edu/~mattmann/
Adjunct Associate Professor, Computer Science Department
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089 USA

-----Original Message-----
From: Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Reply-To: "legal-discuss@apache.org" <legal-discuss@apache.org>,
"lrosen@rosenlaw.com" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Friday, May 16, 2014 11:35 AM
To: "legal-discuss@apache.org" <legal-discuss@apache.org>
Cc: Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Subject: Public domain v. Apache ICLA

>As Richard Fontana said, for most government lawyers this is what they
>call the "public domain":
>17 USC 105: Copyright protection under this title is not available for
>any work of the United States Government, but the United States
>Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights
> to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.
>But I would insist that the actual *public domain* is far bigger than
>that small subset of government creations. For example, non-patented or
>out-of-patent inventions are in the public domain. Trade secrets that are
> disclosed are ­ at least for some purposes ­ in the public domain. And
>copyright itself is excluded for a large category of non-governmental
>17 USC 102(b): In no case does copyright protection for an original work
>of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of
>operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the
> form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in
>such work.
>Many, many things are in the public domain. For example, I would argue,
>APIs for industry standards like Java are in the public domain, despite
>the recent decision of the CAFC in the Oracle v. Google case. :-(
>The Apache ICLA simplifies this mess for everyone. Contributions to
>Apache come from *individuals* who voluntarily contribute only their own
>works, or authorized works from the individual's employer, or public
>domain works. We
> trust our contributors to honor the ICLA and we teach them, as best we
>can, to understand their individual obligations for due diligence.
>The resulting contributions are then collected, organized, and released
>to everyone ­ including to the US government! ­ by Apache projects under
>the Apache license.
>Quite frankly, given the uncertainty about what's in the public domain,
>we should be grateful for the ICLA and Apache's attempted due diligence
>in the collection and organization of Apache software. This is far more
>reliable to software
> consumers than assumptions about the public domain itself.
>bcc: Kerry Broome, Naval Research Lab
>Lawrence Rosen
>Rosenlaw & Einschlag (www.rosenlaw.com)
>3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
>Cell: 707-478-8932   Fax: 707-485-1243
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Richard Fontana [mailto:rfontana@redhat.com]
>Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 9:11 AM
>To: legal-discuss@apache.org; lrosen@rosenlaw.com
>Subject: Re: ICLA US Government
>On Thu, May 15, 2014 at 09:03:01PM -0700, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
>> Your lawyers are making a mountain out of a molehill. Is yours the
>> only US government department that objects to Apache's  long-held
>> contribution requirements? Or do we have a bigger problem with US
>> government agencies that we need to address more broadly?
>I have come to believe as a result of threads like this -- which have
>counterparts in non-ASF projects I've had involvement in as a lawyer
>-- that there *is* a big problem with IP lawyers for US government
>agencies in relation to open source. They appear to be all over the place
>on issues of this sort; each agency seems to have a different
>interpretation of what 17 USC
> 105 even means and how it relates, if at all, to something like the
>Apache ICLA or the Apache License 2.0 itself.
>- RF

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