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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: [Discuss][Wiki]"Synchronizing" (or not) localized wiki sites [was: Fwd: [UserGuide]My "roadmap"]
Date Wed, 05 Jun 2013 20:12:59 GMT

Uh oh.

If you don't have explicit agreement from the contributor(s) to a page concerning it being
offered under a different license, either leave the existing license or remove the content.
 Those are the only legally-sanitary options for works still under copyright.

Declaring a work still in copyright to be orphaned does not give you permission to republish
it with a different license.  Copyright doesn't work that way, not merely in the US.

Secondly, the web site and wiki content were not, as far as I know, included in the grant
from Oracle. There has clearly been no objection, the domains were transferred to the ASF,
but technically that does not in any way change the copyright status of any of the content.
 (The source-code grant, by the way, did not transfer any copyright to the ASF.  It simply
provided a license to the ASF that allowed the ASF to publish and make derivatives under its
license.  Copyright in the original content continues to abide with Oracle.)

While casual treatment of this sort of thing succeeds in some situations, here the interests
and concerns of The Apache Software Foundation as a public-interest entity come into play.
 It is expected that folks on Apache projects will play nice with the intellectual property
of others.  

In particular,

   2) We are allowed to copy  the pages, with changes, and the new page can be
      under a new license

is not ever automatically true.  If there is already a license, the terms of that license
will determine what is possible with a derivative work ("with changes").  Even copying is
an exclusive right of the copyright holder, so the license matters there too.  In the absence
of a license, (2) is not permitted at all by anyone but the copyright holder or someone authorized
by the copyright holder (i.e., being licensed to do so).

Finally, and most important, making changes does not give anyone different rights to the parts
that survive from the original work.  (Fine points about license conditions apply here, but
one should never assume that a legitimate licensing of a derivative work has any impact on
the IP interests in the surviving content of the original work.)

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: janI [] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 09:02 AM
Subject: Re: [Discuss][Wiki]"Synchronizing" (or not) localized wiki sites [was: Fwd: [UserGuide]My

[ ... ]
> > PDL is a sort of "copyleft" license.
> This is a excelent question. I ask to my self how the TDF did about
> (more) this question. Can we do like them? Simply overwrite the
> license and to continue the devel? (i remember when they copied all
> sites/docs/contents, like api site, and changed the license)

I have seen similar things happen in other wikis. The way forward seems to
1) announce the intention of changing license.
2) request contributors who do not agree, to remove their pages (we have
mail adresses on the users)
3) give contributors time to do it.
4) change license.

We should put the license in as part of "create user", as an "do you
accept", thereby we only have a  problem with existing users.

> > Re-license those pages is not possible without the explicit consent of
> the
> > author, and those pages are so old that contact the authors is almost
> > impossible. Suppose we update those pages to point to the new material. A
> > potential contributor (or just a casual reader) will see the PDL notice
> on
> > the portal page, and no notice on the new pages: from the user
> perspective,
> > does this means that the new page is also under PDL? We know it isn't,
> but
> > this could be a cause of confusion, IMO. So, which is the best way to
> work
> > around this problem? Reimplement those pages, making a clear separation
> > between new material (under Apache) and legacy content?
> Maybe this is the unique way. By other hand, is a opportunity of
> review all content in the wiki, reorder and clean it, and evolve based
> in the correct license. In some cases, we can see the page history and
> try to find the author. Some parts, i believe that is all from
> Sun/Oracle copyright, so transfered to ASF.

A cleanup would be nice independent of which way we go

The word re-licensing is not a show stopper.
1) We are not obligated to store those pages for ever, we can, with notice,
delete the pages
2) We are allowed to copy  the pages, with changes, and the new page can be
under a new license

jan I

> My 2ยข
> Claudio
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