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From Donald Whytock <>
Subject Re: IP Clearance - transferral or licensing of copyright ownership?
Date Wed, 21 Sep 2011 16:30:22 GMT
On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 5:27 AM, Sander van der Waal
<> wrote:
> On the other hand, the ASF general FAQ states that the copyright of ASF
> projects is owned by the ASF, more specifically "The members own the
> code" [5]. Also the IP Clearance template [6] has a check that says
> "Check and make sure that the papers that transfer rights to the ASF
> been received." But it seems that the SGA and *CLAs are just license
> agreements and don't include a transferral of rights? I must be missing
> something obvious here but I'm not sure what.
> [5]
> [6]

Actually, [5] says, "All software developed within the Foundation
belongs to the ASF, and therefore the members."  Software contributed
to the ASF would not, I would think, count as "developed within".

On the other hand, code contributed through the SGA conveys "a
non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable  copyright license
to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly
perform, distribute and sublicense, internally and externally, the
Software". [6] I would think that this means the moment ASF makes any
change at all to a contribution -- including adding an ASF copyright
notice -- that makes it a derivative work, developed within the ASF,
and therefore belonging to its members.

And the spirit of the SGA seems to sufficiently express this that
people contributing under the SGA thereby express consent for it to
happen.  The only time this would not be the case is if the
"contributor" is "contributing" something he has no right to so
contribute.  That isn't a fault of the SGA.


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