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From Justin Mclean <jus...@classsoftware.com>
Subject Re: Bundling an AL Font
Date Tue, 01 Jul 2014 15:46:23 GMT

> So, your justification for adding the copyright is that you've found some counter examples?
Do you have any other reasons?

It's not a justification, I'm just want to understand why it seems to be commonly done, but
the advice we currently have is against it.  BTW I didn't cherry pick those projects they
were the first 7 projects given to me by github.

IMO (and certainly not one based on any legal knowledge) it seems to me that adding that copyright
information can help users, committers, release candidate voters, external auditors and others
know where the software comes from (or in fact if it is software from the ASF or from a 3rd
party) and thus give further confidence about using the software without risk / knowing that
the licensing has been carefully considered.

In this particular case anyone looking at the source release would find several binary files
( Google's open san fonts).  In the worse case (if there was nothing extra added to LICENSE)
would have no idea how they were licensed or any idea where they came from. Even if they assumed
the fonts were Apache licensed they wouldn't know if it was ASF software or 3rd party software
and if it was 3rd party who that 3rd party was. With the current advice (adding an Apache
license to LICENSE) they would know it was Apache licensed but not know where it was from
so would be unable to know if it was ASF released software or 3rd party software, easily confirm
if the font was actually licensed under Apache or know if a newer version of the font was
out and the existing one may needed replacing.

In some cases people may be able to look at the included source and check the headers for
a copyright notice. In this case (being a binary file) it's not immediately obvious who the
copyright owner is. In this case the font does contain license metadata, so using the right
tools you can see who the copyright owner is and know where the font came from.

This is the info a font utility (like Font Book on OSX) will show once it has decoded the
binary file:
Manufacturer Ascender Corporation
Copyright	 Digitized data copyright © 2010-2011, Google Corporation.
Trademark Open Sans is a trademark of Google and may be registered in certain jurisdictions.
License Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0

In other cases (for instance the glyphicons halfling font included with bootstrap which serval
Apache projects use) there is no license metadata included in the font files, despite them
being supplied for use to bootstrap from a 3rd party. [1] [2]


1. http://glyphicons.com/license/
2. http://getbootstrap.com/components/
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