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From Roman Shaposhnik <ro...@shaposhnik.org>
Subject Re: [Non-DoD Source] Suggested license mod or FAQ
Date Wed, 04 Jan 2017 00:18:02 GMT

I think you're bringing up a very good point and I'd hate to see it lost.
Any chance you can file a LEGAL JIRA and capture the context you

Filing a LEGAL JIRA is the most effective way to put this on ASF's
VP Legal radar.


On Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 5:34 AM, Karan, Cem F CIV USARMY RDECOM ARL
(US) <cem.f.karan.civ@mail.mil> wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Christopher [mailto:ctubbsii@apache.org]
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 5:15 PM
>> To: legal-discuss@apache.org
>> Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Suggested license mod or FAQ
>> Hi all,
>> The following is just something I was thinking about recently watching all
>> the activity around the U.S. Government and open source. (see
>> code.gov < Caution-http://code.gov >  and related GitHub activities)
>> There still seem to be a lot of questions about how open source licenses
>> pertain to Federal Employees coding on behalf of government,
>> and domestic copyright.
>> For comparison, the Fedora Project Contributor Agreement seems to have a
>> very useful note in paragraph 4 (Caution-
>> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Legal:Fedora_Project_Contributor_Agreement <
>> Caution-
>> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Legal:Fedora_Project_Contributor_Agreement
>>  > ) about US Gov copyright.
>> I'm not a lawyer, but as far as I can tell, this isn't a *necessary*
>> clause.... it seems to me that any non-applicable clause of a license would
>> simply be non-applicable, whether it is stated explicitly or not, and any
>> copyright license restrictions cannot be binding for something
>> which is public domain. However, it does seem to be *useful* to have such a
>> clause, to answer questions from confused government types
>> who want to pick a license for their open source projects, and which may
>> have a mix of government and other contributions.
>> So, *if* there were ever an 'Apache License, 2.1', I think it'd be worth
>> considering adding a similar clause, either specifically addressing 17
>> U.S.C. 105 public domain, or something less US-centric which still clearly
>> addresses that case.
>> In the meantime, it might be useful to note something about this on the
>> license FAQs (Caution-
>> http://www.apache.org/foundation/license-faq.html <
>> Caution-http://www.apache.org/foundation/license-faq.html > ).
>> What do you think?
> As one of those confused US Government employees, I would *definitely* like to
> see some clarity here!  One of my major concerns is severability
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severability).  Assume that the US Government
> (USG) licenses some work under the ASL 2.0.  ASL 2.0 depends on copyright,
> which most USG works don't have within the USA.  Could a US court find that
> the license *as a whole* is void on the USG works because of this?  That could
> open up a real can of worms, not just the USG, but for anyone that has
> downloaded the code for their own use.
> Thanks,
> Cem Karan

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