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From "Dennis E. Hamilton (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-135) Is the WTFPL license acceptable
Date Sat, 23 May 2015 15:04:17 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-135?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=14557374#comment-14557374
] 

Dennis E. Hamilton commented on LEGAL-135:
------------------------------------------

I have two concerns about this ticket.

1. There is no explicit description of the resolution.  ("Fixed" state is inadequate.)

2. The original description speaks of "relicensing."  There is technically no such thing,
especially for public domain works.  

I have in my possession a reprint of L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."  It has
a copyright notice dated "1899" reflecting the copyright of the author and of the original
illustrator.  (The notice is in an illustration and is preserved in my copy.)  The pages of
the original are literally reproduced in this reprint.  

The copyright notice added in the front of the book at the usual place is 1987 and it applies
to an additional Afterward by Peter Glassman.  The new cover is subject to a 2000 Copyright
by Harper Collins Publishers Inc.  Baum died in 1919 and illustrator W. W. Denslow died in
1915.  Even under the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, the work is now in the Public Domain (in
the US).  Wikipedia suggests that the original book has been in the public domain since 1956
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wonderful_Wizard_of_Oz).

Note that there is no notice that attempts to usurp copyright of the material that is simply
reprinted.

This is about copyright, not licensing, but the treatment of this book is, in my opinion,
adequately representative.  It also handles provenance rather nicely.  No notices are stripped.
 The usual "All rights reserved" appears in a few places too.

A quit claim (something the US Copyright Office recognizes but does not register, apparently)
which the WTFPL license appears to be, is quite different.  It can only apply to that (portion
of a) work that is under the copyright of the claimant (the same as any additional copyright).
 It can't apply to anything that is not the original expression (in the copyright sense of
original) by the claimant.  For an ASF project, the claim needs to be preserved in the provenance
of the work in some manner so that there is no appearance that the quit claim (or actual public-domain
status) is somehow narrowed.  I believe that fits in the ASF principle that applies to third-party
works.




> Is the WTFPL license acceptable
> -------------------------------
>
>                 Key: LEGAL-135
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-135
>             Project: Legal Discuss
>          Issue Type: Question
>            Reporter: David Nalley
>              Labels: Resolved.html
>
> Apache CloudStack (incubating) is trying to vet all of the bundled libraries and dependencies.
One such library is jquery.times [1], which is released under the WTFPL [2], which we'd like
to continue using. I suppose that we could perform an end run around this issue and merely
re-license the software as that appears to be explicitly permitted, but that seems a bit squirrely.

> [1] http://archive.plugins.jquery.com/node/3656/release
> [2] http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl/



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