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From Sam Ruby <ru...@apache.org>
Subject Re: The organization of xml.apache.org
Date Thu, 05 Dec 2002 10:04:08 GMT
Ted Leung wrote:
> Jeff's question below about the legal relevance of PMC's is a good one.
> Does someone from the board have a definitive answer for this?

IANAL.

The simplest and most direct answer is that if the PMCs which were set 
up for this expressed purpose can not demonstrate that they have 
provided oversight, then the ASF itself is exposed.

With that out of the way, two examples, assuming PMCs exercising proper 
oversight:

1) A person who is a committer explicitly and intentionally sets out to 
sabotage the ASF by introducing code which is owned by a third party 
without the permission of that third party.  That code is quickly 
detected; the code and the committer are ejected.  There never is a 
release with that code.

The third party could decide to pursue legal action against the 
sabotager, but the ASF did its job.

2) Somebody attempts asserts ownership of a concept (say, hyperlinks), 
for which there is ample prior art, and an ASF codebase that provides an 
implementation of that concept.  The ASF asserts ownership over that 
codebase and explicitly indemnifies its "shareholders", namely its 
membership.

For these examples to work there needs to not be any nooks and crannies 
where unmonitored code may reside.

I hope I got this right, but I am sure that Roy will correct me if I'm 
wrong.  ;-)

- Sam Ruby


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