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From "Robert Burrell Donkin" <>
Subject Re: All licenses in a single file [WAS: Re: [VOTE] Publish the Woden M7b release]
Date Thu, 02 Aug 2007 21:32:15 GMT
On 8/1/07, Matthieu Riou <> wrote:
> On 7/31/07, Martin Cooper <> wrote:


> ("licenses for each dependency library are
> > > reproduced in the lib directory along with the library").
> >
> >
> > That's not viable. As Niclas suggested, the target of all this is lawyers.
> > They can't be expected to dig around in the distribution to find all the
> > relevant licenses, and a clause such as you suggest gives no definitive
> > means of determining whether or not all the relevant licenses have in fact
> > been discovered.

it's not just lawyers

it's important for other groups to be able to easily understand the licensing

it's important that apache people can easily and quickly exercise
oversight by checking that the licensing for the release is ok

it's important that downstream repackagers can easily and quickly
understand and check the licensing of the components of the release

> It just seems a bit sub-optimal to have so many projects go through a long
> and painful time to maintain a single lengthy file when lawyers willing to
> check a distro could just send a single e-mail asking "could you give me an
> exhaustive list of the licenses contained in your distribution?".

please remember that we're all volunteers here

this approach would add much more work to the already overstretched
legal group. rather than supplying the information needed once as part
of the distribution, the information would need to be provided many

checking releases or answering questions from lawyers isn't fun.
there's a major shortage of willing volunteers. AIUI some other richer
foundations hire professional help.

> As an
> illustration, check this out:
> When you're releasing version n+1, making sure that no new dependency have
> been forgotten in these files is challenging. In fact I'd argue that it's a
> pretty good way to be sure that someday, something will be forgotten.

the checking needs to be automated and it can be done

but i just don't have the cycles ATM and no one seems interested in stepping up

> So I think for ODE we're going to do what I mentioned: include each specific
> license file side by side with the library and add that pointer in the main
> LICENSE file so that all licenses can be discovered from there. Hopefully
> that's still an acceptable practice and it's going to save me at least half
> a day for each release.

AIUI including full license text in the LICENSE file is preferable but
isn't absolutely necessary. giving a pointer to the license should be

what would be very useful to me (and other folks who need to check the
release) is if you could include the title of the license to save me
time in tracking down each license.

- robert

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