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From Roy Fielding <field...@adobe.com>
Subject Re: Understanding non-release licensing at the ASF
Date Thu, 27 Aug 2015 19:54:56 GMT
On Aug 27, 2015, at 8:17 AM, William A Rowe Jr <wrowe@rowe-clan.net<mailto:wrowe@rowe-clan.net>>
wrote:

But the operative function here is a license to our Copyright.  If the ASF has not published,
and therefore not copyrighted the code, the license has simply been granted by another author.

Copyright is earned by creating an original expression. It does not spring into existence
by publication,
nor by vote. It simply exists. When it exists, the owner has the right to deny reproduction,
or to license
that right to others. The owner may choose to do so in advance of the copyright existing.

The ASF copyright, when it exists, springs into existence by the actions we take in curating
the
overall work. It does not appear by vote. It does not appear upon publication. Neither voting
nor
publication are actions that create an original work. Contributing does.


Going to Jim's point, when does GPLv2 code granted to the ASF to relicense get 'published'
as an ASF work?  Not if committed verbatim with GPL LICENCE.  So when?  The moment an ASF
committer changes the LICENSE/NOTICE/individual copyright headers?  When it is assembled as
a snapshot/nightly build?  When it is advanced as a vote to release?  Or when the code is
approved by the PMC as a release?

The copyright owner can non-exclusively license their own code however many times they like,
sequentially or in combination, even if said license contradicts statements in the code itself.
This question has absolutely nothing to do with copyright law.  It is just consistency in
documentation.

The code gets published as soon as we reproduce it.  It gets released when we say it is ready
for others.
Copyright has nothing to do with release policies except in regard to what we are permitted
to do,
which is defined by the sum of all permissions granted by the copyright owner(s).

Any code granted to the ASF includes a license to redistribute it as we see fit, consistent
with our purpose.
Hence, the code is published by us UNDER OUR LICENSE as soon as anyone retrieves it from any
of
our servers, including svn.  The headers and accompanied license file might say it is GPL
(which it also is),
but our distribution is covered by the Apache License because that is the limit we will enforce.

The release policy we have is to apply the Apache License documentation to the code before
it is
released, since failure to do so would be confusing to recipients.  It doesn't change the
license(s)
available to recipients; it changes the documentation of the available license(s).

....Roy


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