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From "Alan D. Cabrera" <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Release Kafka 0.7.1-incubating (Candidate 2)
Date Fri, 22 Jun 2012 02:44:42 GMT

If this is going to be a new hard requirement the people who feel strongly about this should
add something to Rat or write some kind of a plugin.



On Jun 21, 2012, at 5:29 PM, Jun Rao wrote:

> Kevan,
> I agree that to the benefit of users, it would be reasonable for Apache
> projects to include license/notice for all dependant jars (directly or
> indirectly) in a release. However, this has to be done automatically by
> tools, not manually by human beings. IMO, without such tools, it's unfair
> (and error prone) to make this a requirement for all Apache projects.
> Thanks,
> Jun
> On Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM, Kevan Miller <>wrote:
>> On Jun 21, 2012, at 1:50 PM, Marvin Humphrey wrote:
>>> On Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 6:15 AM, Kevan Miller <>
>> wrote:
>>>> On Jun 21, 2012, at 1:20 AM, Alan D. Cabrera wrote:
>>>>> With that said, I think it's something good and extremely useful to
>> strive
>>>>> for.  The lack of it, i.e. extensive documentation in LICENSE/NOTICE
>> with
>>>>> regards to transitive dependencies, is not a showstopper IMO unless
>> there
>>>>> are explicit rules prohibiting it on the ASF rules.
>>>> I don't have a chapter and verse to quote you. I'll work on
>> getting/creating
>>>> some clarification. I may not be able to start on that for the next few
>>>> days...
>>> I feel like I'm missing something.  There shouldn't be any difference
>> between
>>> a first-order dependency and a transitive dependency.  All that matters
>> is
>>> whether or not the dependency is bundled, right?[1]  Why would we need
>> ASF
>>> rules regarding *transitive* dependency license documentation in
>> particular?
>> Because Alan and I disagreed and nobody else had commented? ;-)
>>> So long as we bundle the bits, we have to bundle the licensing --
>> possibly
>>> bubbling up any relevant ALv2 NOTICE provisions into the top-level NOTICE
>>> since that's what the ALv2 requires.  On the other hand, if the bits
>> aren't
>>> bundled, then the licensing shouldn't be bundled either.
>>> If the bundled dependencies of the canonical ASF source release and a
>>> convenience binary differ, then their licensing must be analyzed
>> separately
>>> and may differ.
>>> If a project has a gazillion dependencies, regardless of whether those
>>> dependencies are direct or transitive, that makes dealing with licensing
>> more
>>> challenging, but it doesn't change our legal obligations.
>> I think you and I agree. Though there may be some ambiguities in what we
>> mean by direct or transitive dependencies. So, attempting to clarify:
>> I think Alan's (Kafka's) position is that dependencies don't matter since
>> they are not distributing binary artifacts.
>> I would agree with Alan, if Kafka source was simply intended to be used in
>> source form. That's not the case. The Kafka project is designed to be
>> built/compiled into a distribution. So, IMO, Kafka must document their
>> dependencies. Note that if Kafka only had compile-time/test-time
>> dependencies and simply built .jar files (and someone else was responsible
>> for bundling everything together into a "distribution"), then I'd have a
>> different opinion.
>> In this case, the Kafka source release contains AL v2 licensed source code
>> along with some binary artifacts under several licenses (you're welcome to
>> comment on this, also). The Kafka LICENSE/NOTICE files only contain the
>> licenses for this source code and the binary artifacts contained within the
>> source release. They don't document the dependencies that they will bundle
>> into a distribution.
>> --kevan
>>> Marvin Humphrey
>>> [1] Leaving aside concerns about copyleft, field of use restrictions,
>> etc.
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