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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Third Party FOSS licenses
Date Sat, 01 Aug 2015 17:44:47 GMT
Henri Yandell asked:

> How do the FOSS contributions constitute "separate and independent works in themselves"?

 

As far as ASF is concerned, anything that bears a copyright notice and is expressly contributed
to an Apache project by someone known to the Apache project is a "separate and independent
work." 

 

This is a kind of recursive term of art. An original work is a separate and independent work.
A derivative work of that original work becomes a separate and independent work. A collective
work or compilation including that original work or derivative work becomes a separate and
independent work. As long as those works are indeed separate and independently created by
identified (or anonymous) authors, and if necessary its original sources identified on the
U.S. Copyright Office application under oath, the contributor can assert a separate and independent
copyright.

 

And ASF's glory as a separate and independent foundation is that we can then declare:

 

Copyright (C) 2015 The Apache Software Foundation.

 

... on our collective work and thus protect all the copyrights on its separate and independent
components.

 

Ain't that easy?

 

/Larry

 

Lawrence Rosen

"If this were legal advice it would have been accompanied by a bill."

 

Ross: As a lawyer I am required to post something equivalent to the above. It doesn't mean
you can't believe me. :-)

 

 

From: Henri Yandell [mailto:bayard@apache.org] 
Sent: Saturday, August 1, 2015 10:05 AM
To: ASF Legal Discuss <legal-discuss@apache.org>; Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Subject: Re: Third Party FOSS licenses

 

 

 

On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 9:03 AM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com <mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
> wrote:

Henri Yandell wrote me privately:
> I'll be interested in your thoughts on my recent post to legal-discuss identifying my
current thought pattern for how I see the three tiered split. I think it holds in OSS but
am not sure if other licences on the proprietary/creative-commons side would need other ways
of describing category-B (allowed, but only in these limited use cases).

 

There should be no tiers. All FOSS licenses are acceptable for the collective works that ASF
publishes through its independent software projects. (Who's talking about proprietary components?)


 

ASF creates no derivative works. We own no programmers. Presumably contributors own their
contributions. We only collect FOSS contributions and publish them as a collective work under
ALv2 with a NOTICE file. 

 

"A 'collective work' is a work, such as a periodical issue, anthology, or encyclopedia, in
which a number of contributions, constituting separate and independent works in themselves,
are assembled into a collective whole."  [https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/101]

 

How do the FOSS contributions constitute "separate and independent works in themselves"?

 

Hen


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