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From Hen <bay...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Musing: Convenience binaries and binary-only licenses
Date Sun, 24 Feb 2019 23:22:49 GMT
On Sun, Feb 24, 2019 at 1:03 PM Roman Shaposhnik <roman@shaposhnik.org>

> On Sun, Feb 24, 2019 at 9:23 PM Hen <bayard@apache.org> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Currently we have three categories:
> >
> >   * Category A -> Allowed with Apache Source
> >   * Category B -> Allowed as Binaries
> >   * Category X -> Excluded/Not Allowed
> >
> > The focus of Category B was licenses that, if the 3rd party file is kept
> distinctly separate, do not have an effect on the Apache work. We state
> that they should be included in unomdified binary form only.
> >
> > The side effect of that Category B guidance is that they can only appear
> in convenience binaries, as Apache source releases do not include binaries.
> >
> > Category X on the other hand must be an optional feature if it is to be
> included as a dependency.
> >
> > That's ended up as 'must not be in convenience binaries', however it's
> not entirely clear why. BCL and the recently added Intel license are binary
> only licenses. They are no-harm adds to a convenience binary. The same is
> true of field of use licensing. The same might be true of a GPL/LGPL
> license, as long as the optionalness it continued, though it does put us in
> the path for having to provide the copylefted source code.
> >
> > Anyway... my musing here is that things don't seem to join up well, and
> that our categorization is mixed up between 'requires' and 'includes' as
> concepts. I'm going to keep pondering on this; it feels like we're ripe for
> a simplifying factorization.
> I'm not sure I follow -- the idea behind the classification as it
> applied for convenience binaries has always been that we wanted to
> guarantee that a convenience binary doesn't place additional burden on
> an end user.
> What are you after in this thinking?

I'm leaning (logic-wise) to the notion that Category B = Okay in
Convenience Binaries, and that the field of use and binary only third party
licenses would be fine in Convenience Binaries. Effectively that a
convenience binary cares about whether we can distribute it, and whether it
forces a undesired burden on the user, not whether it obeys OSD or places a
burden on the user that they might be quite fine about. For example,
including BCL in a Convenience Binary might be fine.

Philosophically though, I'm not sure if that's where we want to be. On the
one hand, I think we want to support other software that's created for the
public good, even if it doesn't use our license; on the other hand, we're
very pragmatic and we don't want to limit the subset of 'public' by only
supporting a minority 'platform'.

Looking at our current criteria, we effectively have two Category X

* Category X.1:  Does not obey OSD
* Category X.2:  Risk that it affects our code's license.

We allow both as optional dependencies.

Assuming we very transparent about surprise licensing, the Category X.1
group typically are not putting a burden on the end user. Feasibly they
could go in a Convenience Binary.

The example being that Intel license. It's roughly a binary only BSD (with
rules about not decompiling). We're allowing it as an optional dependency.
Do we allow it in a Convenience Binary?


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