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From "Roy T. Fielding" <field...@gbiv.com>
Subject Re: Is it OK to remove MIT header in this case?
Date Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:58:55 GMT
> On Apr 25, 2017, at 2:01 PM, Justin Mclean <justin@classsoftware.com> wrote:
> 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 terms.

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 instead.

> 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. https://github.com/apache/flex-typedefs/blob/master/createjs/src/main/patch/tweenjs.patch
> 2. https://github.com/CreateJS/TweenJS/blob/master/src/tweenjs/Tween.js
> 3. https://lists.apache.org/thread.html/132d2d65017befe599e4f5fd2e1b148b35bce81f2eae7a4e0a5501d0@%3Cdev.flex.apache.org%3E
> 4. https://www.apache.org/legal/src-headers.html#headers


Roy T. Fielding                     <http://roy.gbiv.com/>
Senior Principal Scientist, Adobe   <https://www.adobe.com/>

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