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From "William A. Rowe Jr." <wr...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Apache project moving externally
Date Fri, 04 Feb 2011 18:32:21 GMT
On 2/4/2011 10:57 AM, "C. Bergström" wrote:
> 
> There's an Apache project that has somewhat stalled in development and a small group
of
> developers are interested to take up ownership.  Has a handover ever been known to happen
> or is such a thing possible if the leaders for the project agree to it?  By this I mean
> like transferring some rights over to SPI or another FOSS oriented non-profit.

Sam gave you good feedback.  One thing he didn't address was 'ownership'.

The ASF committers do not transfer copyright to the foundation.  This is
markedly different from how, say, the FSF or some other open source efforts
operate, who accept the assignment of copyright and have complete flexibility
(within their organizational charter restrictions), e.g. FSF owned code was
easily migrated from GPLv2 to GPLv3.  Non-FSF owned code such as the Linux
kernel proves almost impossible to relicense, even if the kernel maintainers
desired to do so.

What this denies you, the licensor, and we, the ASF, is the opportunity to
change the original terms of the license.  If you wanted to actually
replace the copyright/license entirely by obtaining rather than licensing
copyright, you would need to go back to each and every committer and patch
contributor, and ask this individually for every code contribution.

But as Sam says, you need to study the Apache License, which grants you the
right to sublicense provided that the terms are compatible, and that the
chosen license does not remove the original Apache License restrictions that
the authors imposed on their contributions.

If by ownership you meant responsibility for... see Sam's response, and note
he addressed the code, but the project name itself is the ASF's and was not
transferred in the iBatis (now myBatis) case.  I hope that distinction is clear.
If the group of developers you have in mind are willing to become active at
the ASF, I'm pretty certain that most lethargic projects would welcome the
new energies of new contributors.  See
http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html


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