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From Alex Harui <aha...@adobe.com>
Subject Re: Is it OK to remove MIT header in this case?
Date Wed, 26 Apr 2017 03:24:02 GMT

What we are creating is a file that contains a list of the APIs we do not
want the Google Closure Compiler to rename.  It is not code per-se.  But
Google chose to have the list appear like JavaScript function definitions
instead of a plain text file with strings in it.  Adobe Legal was asked if
this list is considered a derivative work.  They said no, a list is not a
derivative work.

So all of you are correct if this was still source code, but it isn't.  It
is a list.  It doesn't actually perform any execution, nor is it ever
executed.  It is simply fed to the compiler and consumed as a list.

So, how should I create such a list?  If I were to do it manually, I would
copy a function definition from the original source, and reformat it and
modify the comments to conform to the way Google wants the list to be
formatted.  The patch file simply automates that process.  If the format
was a plain text file, would you still decide that it requires the same
licensing terms as the original?

Let me know if you think this still needs to be considered under MIT.
Note that several other providers of these lists seem to have reached the
same conclusion and do not use the same licensing terms as the original


On 4/25/17, 5:58 PM, "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@gbiv.com> wrote:

>> On Apr 25, 2017, at 2:01 PM, Justin Mclean <justin@classsoftware.com>
>> Hi,
>> As part of the build process Flex uses this patch file [1] to 3rd party
>>MIT licensed code [2]. Part of the patch is removing the MIT license
>>header - should it do this?
>No.  It shouldn't even have an ASF header.  These are patch files.
>> Adobe legal was asked (off list) and they come back with the copyright
>>is owned by Adobe, [3] but IMO it still not clear that ASF policy would
>>allow for the header to be removed. [4]
>I don't know what Adobe legal was asked, but even a trivial inspection
>of the contents shows the patch still contains the licensed code under MIT
>and the comments are still being preserved across files after the patch.
>Both the patch and the files post-process remain under the MIT license.
>The patch alone isn't an original work (IMO) and even if it were original
>there is no legal theory on APIs that implies comments change ownership
>when an automated process is applied to the file.  At most, we might say
>that the operational calling parameters are outside the scope of copyright
>and hence no license is needed for those parts, but that doesn't apply to
>the commentary in the original file and doesn't change the licensing
>In any case, there is absolutely no reason to change the license here.
>MIT is fine.
>It is very important to understand that Rat is just a tool for reminding
>folks of potential forgetfulness.  It should not be used as a rationale
>to add licensing headers where they are not needed.  Make an exception
>> Any suggestions on how to handle this?
>I would remove the ASF header and fix the patch so that it doesn't
>remove the original licenses.  Instead, I would have the patch
>add a header comment explaining that the new file was created via
>an identified script, or that they were generated once on a certain
>date based on the original files from X.
>> Thanks,
>> Justin
>> 1. 
>> 2. 
>> 3. 
>> 4. 
>Roy T. Fielding   
>Senior Principal Scientist, Adobe

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