www-legal-discuss mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Alex Harui <aha...@adobe.com>
Subject Re: Copyright and license questions
Date Wed, 02 Dec 2015 06:42:01 GMT
I'm not an official answer-person for this list, but I actually think I've been in these same
situations and  have supplied what I learned from this list and others inline in this color…

From: Roberta Marton <roberta.marton@esgyn.com<mailto:roberta.marton@esgyn.com>>
Reply-To: "legal-discuss@apache.org<mailto:legal-discuss@apache.org>" <legal-discuss@apache.org<mailto:legal-discuss@apache.org>>
Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 3:41 PM
To: "legal-discuss@apache.org<mailto:legal-discuss@apache.org>" <legal-discuss@apache.org<mailto:legal-discuss@apache.org>>
Subject: Copyright and license questions

I am the release manager for Apache Trafodion incubator and we are trying to resolve some
license/copyright issues in order to perform our first release.
I have reviewed the Apache web pages regarding license and notice file several times but still
need some clarification.  One of our mentors suggested I send my questions to this list.

Question 1: How to handle a Copyright on top of an Apache copyright

In our code, we include a file that contains a copyright on top of an Apache license.  In
this case, the Copyright is from the company that donated the code.
For example:

Copyright 2013 <company name of a project that is not Apache>

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
. . .
limitations under the License.
 @author: <someone’s name>

From apache documentation (http://www.apache.org/legal/src-headers.html):

If the source file is submitted with a copyright notice included in it, the copyright owner
(or owner's agent) must either:

  1.  remove such notices, or
  2.  move them to the NOTICE file associated with each applicable project release, or
  3.  provide written permission for the ASF to make such removal or relocation of the notices.


Assuming once again that that the bundled dependency itself contains no bundled subcomponents
under other licenses and thus the ALv2 applies uniformly to all files, there is no need to
modify LICENSE.
If the dependency supplies a NOTICE file, its contents must be analyzed and the relevant portions
bubbled up into the top-level NOTICE file.

What does it mean if the “dependency supplies a NOTICE file”?  In this context, is a NOTICE
file the same as a copyright notice?

AH: In many Apache licensed releases, there is an actual file called NOTICE (or NOTICE.txt).
 So no, the NOTICE file isn't the same as the copyright line in a file, but does often contain
copyright information.

-          should I just remove the copyright notice since it is covered by Apache code
-          should I add something to the notice file (and leave the copyright in the source
as is), for example
“This software contains code donated by <company name> licensed under Apache version
2.0, author <author name>”
-          should I add this copyright information to the LICENSE file?
-     other?

AH: You need to be the copyright holder or authorized by the copyright holder to touch copyright
lines in a file.  When I bring in code bases from my employer, my employer's legal team grants
me permission to move the copyright notices to the NOTICE file.  When I brought in a code
base that had a former employee's copyright in it (the files were acquired in an acquisition),
we got written permission to move the copyrights from the former employee by having him send
an email to our dev@ list.

So, assuming you work for the company providing the code, you can move the copyright but you
might want to ask someone higher up the management chain or someone on the legal team for
permission first.

Question 2:  How to handle a copyright from a project prior to said project becoming TLP

In this case, we used code from Phoenix prior to Phoenix becoming TLP.  They are test files
and each file contains a Salesforce copyright, and we have made several modifications to the

Copyright (c) 2013, Salesforce.com, Inc.
All rights reserved.

 Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
. . .

We don’t have plans to pick up a more recent version of these test files and want to keep
using the same files that we significantly modified.  I assume then that the files are not
part of Apache but from the prior Salesforce license.

AH:  Originally, every line of code in that file was owned by SalesForce.  If you can find
a copy of every line owned by SalesForce in the Phoenix version control then you can claim
that you are using the Apache version.  But it has to be every line.  It doesn't have to be
in the latest version, so you may need to snoop through Phoenix change history to see what
the lines looked like when SalesForce licensed those lines to Apache.  Any SalesForce-owned
lines in your copy that you can't find in Apache versions is technically still owned by SalesForce,
and assuming the license is Apache-compatible, you can treat it as a third-party work.  So
it really matters whether you decide that file is now all-Apache (AL) or still 3rd Party (3P).

I looked on the following web page, but unfortunately it tells you what needs to be done but
does not tell you how or show examples

Given the case from the above and from the web page:

You must give any other recipients of the Work or Derivative Works a copy of this License
-          Would just leaving the copyright/license in the source suffice? or
AH: If 3P, don't touch the headers.  If AL, update to the header that Phoenix is using.
-          Do you need to add license information to the LICENSE file?
AH: If 3P, yes, if AL, no unless there is stuff in the Phoenix LICENSE directly related to
these lines of code

You must cause any modified files to carry prominent notices stating that You changed the
files –
-          Is adding our own Apache copyright and/or modified license on top sufficient?
AH: If 3P, don't touch the headers.  When you mention these files in LICENSE, I think you
can mention that you modified those files.  And if you decide to mention your modifications
in the file itself, I would do it below the header or in the comments of the modifications
-          Should we just add a statement indicating that the files were modified by  us?
I have seen the following in other Apache projects, is this sufficient?
-            Copyright (c) 2010-2011 <company>
-            With some minor modifications for Apache <project>.
You must retain, in the Source form of any Derivative Works that You distribute, all copyright,
patent, trademark, and attribution notices from the Source form of the Work, excluding those
notices that do not pertain to any part of the Derivative Works
-          I assume this means that we don’t remove existing any copyrights, etc. from the
source files
AH: Correct if 3P.
If the Work includes a "NOTICE" text file as part of its distribution, then any Derivative
Works that You distribute must include a readable copy of the attribution notices contained
within such NOTICE file …
-         I assume we need to add something to the NOTICE file, what is an attribution notice?
 AH:  Whether 3P or AL, you would add anything in any NOTICE file that come with those files
to your NOTICE file.  If no NOTICE file and the file is 3P and not under AL, the non-AL license
may also stipulate things that must go in the NOTICE file.

Question 3 – Embedded copyrights

In general, I am scanning the code looking for Copyrights that are not Apache and making sure
they are addressed in a correct manner.  In one of the files that we use from Sencha, there
is a main copyright at the top of the file and then there are several copyrights embedded
within the file.  Do I need to include all copyrights in the file in the LICENSE file or can
I just include the main one.  The copyrights are all based on the MIT license.

AH:  There is a preference to not include other license text in the LICENSE file.  IOW, the
LICENSE file starts with the full AL text, then a series of blurbs like: "This product bundles
Sencha's Foo 1.2.3 which is available under the MIT License.  For details see <path to
LICENSE file in a folder for those files, or maybe the actual file itself>"  So no copyrights
of any sort need to be included in LICENSE if you use that pattern.


View raw message