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From Janne Jalkanen <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] JSPWiki
Date Thu, 06 Sep 2007 08:38:06 GMT
> IANAL, but I am pretty sure you are right. However, I think there  
> is an issue
> on "how simple is simple?". It seems common to talk about 10 lines  
> of code
> are not infringements, but then noone give any hint of an upper  
> limit. I
> think it would be good if it could be documented somehow, to get a  
> better
> view.

Well, you can't really say for sure how many lines constitutes an  
original work.  Sometimes even long strips of code could be deemed  
non-copyrightable, due to e.g. heavy use of cut-n-paste, or e.g. a  
straightforward implementation of a well-known algorithm.  And  
sometimes, a short piece of code, being brilliant and non-obvious  
might be considered an original body of work.

This is a thorny subject and the conventions change from country to  
country.  Finland has a copyright board for issuing recommendations  
on a case-by-case on whether something is an original enough body of  
work or not.  Most often they are actually not.

In addition, since many, many patches have over the years been  
changed, it's very difficult to say whether the original body of work  
still exists and how much of it still exists.  These would need to be  
resolved case-by-case.

Here's the crappy thing: I know Apache wants to have existing  
communities.  But you can't have an existing community without some  
existing work.  And if Apache is very stingy on the requirements that  
every single small patch author needs to have a CLA on file, then  
it's going to be really difficult - in certain cases even impossible  
- to get these works into Apache :-(.

So, any advice on this matter?


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