www-legal-discuss mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "Alex Harui (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-293) Adding ASF license headers to the code that came from a BSD licensed project
Date Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:26:44 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-293?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=15877762#comment-15877762

Alex Harui commented on LEGAL-293:

Maybe we need to step back and agree on the "legal principles".  From my experience (and IANAL),
every line of code in a file is licensed under some license and each line is also under some
copyright.  Files are not licensed unless every line is under the same license.  Lines of
code are granted to the ASF which, if the code is not already under ALv2, gives the ASF permission
to re-license under ASF, but most importantly, the grant gives permission for the new home
for a line of code to be in an ASF repo instead of elsewhere.  Because every line of code
can have a different owner, if an owner of a line has not granted permission for the new home
to be at the ASF and for relicensing, then that line of code can't be re-licensed and that
line of code remains third-party code.  Whether a file has a header on it or not doesn't change
the licensing and ownership of those lines of code.  The header is just a convenient sign
post as is LICENSE.  Does anybody disagree with any of this?

So, some files can have a mix of ALv2 code and some other Cat-A code.  And you can arrive
at such a scenario by starting with a brand new empty ALv2 file, one of us ASF committers
writing a bunch of code, then copying in a block of code from some third-party BSD repo on

So, the goal here, IMO, is just to make a convenient sign post in each file saying "Hey, there
is a mix of BSD and ALv2".  Since both are Cat-A, it shouldn't scare anybody away.  Bonus
points if the community tracks the lines that are BSD and sees if they all go away someday
and updates the header, but IMO, no big deal if they don't.  AIUI, if an ASF committer copies
a line of code that was BSD to another part of a file, that copied line remains BSD since
its copyright has not changed.  But the net result of the change is under ALv2.  This is all
too complicated to try to describe in a header.  Someone who really cares must check the source
code history.

Don't spend too much time trying to make it perfect.  All you need to do, IMO, is warn that
there is a mix.  Having both headers is the default answer.  In this particular scenario since
there was no header at all, and you aren't supposed to add headers to third-party code, it
made it into an excellent edge case and an interesting but long discussion.  But now it is
time to move on, and IMO, any sort of warning of mixing is good enough.  The foundation is
not at risk if you mention both BSD and ALv2 in some sort of header.

> Adding ASF license headers to the code that came from a BSD licensed project
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: LEGAL-293
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-293
>             Project: Legal Discuss
>          Issue Type: Question
>            Reporter: Roman Shaposhnik
> I'd like to ask for a final resolution of the question that got debated on legal discuss
some time ago: http://markmail.org/message/pdy6f4wg4w2hpb5g
> To put a stake in the ground I'd like to propose that we move ahead with the solution
put forward by [~fielding] http://markmail.org/message/7rpbk2odapl2r3q3

This message was sent by Atlassian JIRA

To unsubscribe, e-mail: legal-discuss-unsubscribe@apache.org
For additional commands, e-mail: legal-discuss-help@apache.org

View raw message