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From Todd Lipcon <t...@cloudera.com>
Subject Re: SGA Alterations
Date Wed, 16 Dec 2015 18:56:42 GMT
On Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 12:12 AM, Philippe Ombredanne <pombredanne@nexb.com>

> Todd:
> Just to make sure I understand the gist of this, would this
> reformulation be more or less correct?

IANAL so I'm not going to try to pass my interpretation of legalese. I'll
answer your questions though outside the context of the agreement in

> Cloudera has patents filed but not yet granted that apply to the domain.
> Cloudera has patents for sure [1].

Yes, this is true. We have some patents under application and/or pending
for parts of Kudu. I'm not sure about Impala, but likely to be the same.

> Therefore it cannot make any patent grant for now to Apache under the
> SGA  because
> the patents have not been granted yet.
That's how I understood the feedback from our counsel -- that the current
language tries to grant rights to something which can't be granted until
the patent is actually granted, and hence needs an 'effective date'.

> If the future, if these patents are effectively granted to Cloudera,
> then using Impala or Kudu
> would imply using these patents, but no grants would have been made to
> Apache and therefore
> to its users?

Given that the patents have bearing on code contributed under the Apache
license (all of the source code files have the Apache license already since
these projects are already open source), my understanding is that the
patent license is already covered by the language. Thus, the SGA is already
a "belt-and-suspenders" measure.

For example, I as a Cloudera employee have applied for other patents on
code I contributed to HBase and HDFS in the past. No special SGA was
required for those since the contributions were under the Apache license.

> If any of this is vaguely true my head is spinning and I cannot fathom
> the implication whether or not
> the SGA is used as-is or amended.

That's why I'm trying my best to get our lawyer in touch with another
lawyer. I don't mean any disrespect to the hard-working volunteers on the
legal-discuss list, but this kind of stuff is above our heads, and should
be discussed by people who are licensed IP attorneys to make sure we don't
miss anything on either end.

I also want to clarify one thing: it seems like some folks on the list are
trying to attribute some kind of malice or "trickery" to the request here.
Cloudera is not new to the ASF. We've contributed several other projects
via the incubator in the past, have 8 or so Apache members on staff, etc.
I'm just currently trying to find a workable solution between three
parties: (a) our legal counsel who is uncomfortable with the current
wording, (b) our company's decision to contribute new projects to the ASF,
and (c) the ASF itself who prefers not to change the SGA. My guess is that
'b' is the least likely to change (we are committed to contributing these
projects to the ASF). So, I either have to convince our counsel that the
current SGA is fine, convince our executives to sign the SGA against our
counsel's advice, or convince the ASF to allow the modifications. I'll work
each of these avenues in parallel.

If the general consensus is that the SGA is _not_ required for the code
import, I'm happy to move on with the incubation process while continuing
to sort this out in the background. But, would like to have some more
confirmation that this is the case instead of just one Member's opinion
which conflicts with the online policies posted on the incubator site.


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