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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Third Party FOSS licenses
Date Sun, 02 Aug 2015 02:13:09 GMT
David, I hope you don't consider me completely unreasonable. 

 

David Jenks wrote:

Here’s a recent concrete example:  IBM’s recently released Liberty WAS now uses the geronimo-yoko
orb.  We started on this effort about a year ago, and immediately started fixing bugs.  It
only took a couple months to get legal approval to actually use the orb, but for a variety
of reasons we didn’t get legal approval to contribute the bug fixes back until very recently.
 If we had to have scanned the code for which license each file was under and gotten legal
approval to contribute changes back before starting work, we would not have released by now.

 

Assume (obviously!) that I don't really understand what a "geronimo-yoko orb" actually is
(and probably neither do all IBM attorneys). But if you are its contributor to Apache or on
the Apache PMC that created that, your responsibility is to help decide what kinds of components
that object needs. 

 

Each Apache project has different needs. If your project accepted a important contribution
licensed from Mozilla Firefox or LibreOffice or OpenMRS, I presume that you discussed that
openly on our dev@ lists and made sure that your employer (IBM) knew what was going to happen.
Maybe they'd object and maybe you would take it out. Or maybe they would say that anything
in Mozilla Firefox isn't in their primary line of business, so go ahead and publish all your
modifications to it. That's an easy enough decision even for IBM. 

 

I used to work at IBM many years ago and remember the interminable bureaucracy. But no successful
company can afford to stymie reasonable FOSS contributions even under reciprocal licenses
out of fear of FOSS. 

 

I'm really not worried at all about IBM, or Microsoft, or Google, or Facebook. They are all
mature enough by now to be careful when creating derivative works. I believe those companies
would want Apache Hadoop, OpenOffice, geronimo-yoko orb, etc., etc., to combine with important
MPL software when the Apache PMC publicly agrees to do so. 

 

Did you actually ask any of the IBM attorneys if they've thought this through????

 

/Larry

 

Lawrence Rosen

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

 

 

 

From: David Jencks [mailto:david.a.jencks@gmail.com] 
Sent: Saturday, August 1, 2015 4:49 PM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org; lrosen@rosenlaw.com
Subject: Re: Third Party FOSS licenses

 

I hope that never happens and I expect if it does the source code will be removed as soon
as anyone notices.

 

While it seems clear even to me as well as you that when _apache_ publishes such contributed
code all the license conditions are satisfied, that’s not the point of the policy.  The
problem with including such source is that anyone downstream who wants to modify the work
and distribute it in binary-only form can’t.  At best they have to look at the provenance
and history of every modified file to determine what license conditions apply to that file
to see whether they have to publish the changes or not.

 

In the part if IBM I work in, I’d personally get to do this for any such apache project
I managed to convince the powers-that-be would be a good idea to use.  That would make my
life hell, and I’d probably avoid trying to reuse apache software we’d have to modify
in proprietary ways.  In my experience IBM is usually pretty good about pushing useful changes
back, but sometimes adapting code to different circumstances is not useful to contribute back,
and sometimes it takes a long time.

 

Here’s a recent concrete example:  IBM’s recently released Liberty WAS now uses the geronimo-yoko
orb.  We started on this effort about a year ago, and immediately started fixing bugs.  It
only took a couple months to get legal approval to actually use the orb, but for a variety
of reasons we didn’t get legal approval to contribute the bug fixes back until very recently.
 If we had to have scanned the code for which license each file was under and gotten legal
approval to contribute changes back before starting work, we would not have released by now.

 

As far as I can tell what you are proposing is perfectly legal but would make apache software
unusable for many of its current users. 

 

thanks

david jencks

 

On Aug 1, 2015, at 6:29 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com <mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
> wrote:

 

Henri Yandell wrote:
> So let's say that the contribution includes a piece of code under a license with conditions
on derivative works.

That's likely to happen sooner or later. :-)  The sooner the better.

 

Then the contributor must comply with that reciprocal license, which will happen when he contributes
it to Apache with the source code. That derivative work remains under the reciprocal license
even though its source is available from and published by Apache and its license is published
in our NOTICE file. I believe that is sufficient compliance with all FOSS licenses.  

 

This is just how Microsoft and Google distribute their collective works with FOSS software
in it.

 

The entire collective work is independently copyrighted as:

 

Copyright (C) 2015 The Apache Software Foundation.

This software is licensed to you under ALv2.

Read the NOTICE file.

 

/Larry

 

Lawrence Rosen

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

 

 

From: Henri Yandell [mailto:bayard@apache.org] 
Sent: Saturday, August 1, 2015 3:15 PM
To: ASF Legal Discuss <legal-discuss@apache.org <mailto:legal-discuss@apache.org>
>; Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com <mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com> >
Subject: Re: Third Party FOSS licenses

 

 

 

On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 2:53 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com <mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
> wrote:

Henri Yandell wrote:
http://svn.apache.org/viewvc/commons/proper/csv/trunk/src/main/java/org/apache/commons/csv/CSVFormat.java?r1=1638699
<http://svn.apache.org/viewvc/commons/proper/csv/trunk/src/main/java/org/apache/commons/csv/CSVFormat.java?r1=1638699&r2=1641845>
&r2=1641845

Here we see an arbitrarily chosen contribution. See how the text in the contribution (arguably
the + lines) bears a resemblance to the state before (the - lines). Contribution is a derivative
work of the Apache product.

And so the contributor who entered those + and – lines presumably created a derivative work.
Then he contributed it back to Apache under the ALv2. Even I've used SVN for that kind of
stuff. What's so strange about that? Our website and procedures make that easy.

 

Apache itself didn't create a derivative work.

 

 

So let's say that the contribution includes a piece of code under a license with conditions
on derivative works.

You're saying that those conditions apply to the contribution to Apache, but at that point
Apache release it, it is now a collective work and the conditions no longer apply (allowing
for a very permissive policy because, hey, it's all collective work)?

Hen 

 

 


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