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From "Christopher Tubbs"<ctubb...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Suggested license mod or FAQ
Date Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:28:34 GMT
Interesting... apparently, I'm not subscribed to the list, so I never saw the reply.

In any case, I'm not talking about contributing public domain contributions to an ASF project...
I'm talking about the applicability of the AL2 license to any project which uses it.

After some more interactions with lawyer types and others, I've come to learn that what I'm
talking about is explicitly adding a type of Severability Clause[1], which ensures that the
LICENSE is not void in its entirety due to the inapplicability of a portion of the LICENSE
to a specific subset of the project.

Before I had learned about this, I had assumed that individual inapplicable clauses could
be ignored, and the rest would remain intact, but now... I've learned that isn't necessarily
the case.

For more details, and an example of why this might be useful to all users (developers and
project consumers) of the Apache License, see https://github.com/presidential-innovation-fellows/code-gov-web/issues/41#issuecomment-270469794

In short,  U.S. Government (USG) developers, managers, and sometimes lawyers, are so very
confused and lost while trying to release government-produced software to the public, as there
is no consistent guidance, or good license for them to use which applies. I don't think ASF
should be in the business of creating a suitable licenses for USG, but the conversation on
those forums has got me thinking that this simple change to AL2 would alleviate many concerns,
and would also be mutually beneficial to any project, including ASF projects, which use AL2.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severability

On 2016-12-22 04:21 (-0500), Henri Yandell <bayard@apache.org> wrote: 
> What would the FAQ say? Both question and answer :)
> IIRC this is something that's come up on list a good few times; so a FAQ
> seems justifiable (though you should review the previous questions).
> I think one way to look at is that, if you (an individual not an entity
> like a government or corporation) are contributing something that is not
> your original creation, you have to call that out per section 7 of the
> ICLA. Thus if you work for the US government and your contribution is
> public domain'd, you should call that out on each contribution per section
> 7. So no issue with the ICLA if that way to look at it is valid, but a mild
> pain for each commit message.
> Hen
> On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 2:14 PM, Christopher <ctubbsii@apache.org> wrote:
> > 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
> > 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 (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 (http://www.apache.org/foundation/license-faq.html).
> >
> > What do you think?
> >
> > --
> > Christopher
> >

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