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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: svn commit: r1488735 - in /incubator/public/trunk/tools: NOTICE.txt requirements.txt src/asf/utils/ src/asf/utils/ src/asf/utils/ src/asf/utils/ tests/
Date Tue, 04 Jun 2013 15:17:25 GMT
On Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 6:40 AM, ant elder <> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 1:46 PM, Greg Stein <> wrote:

>> You guys are insane. This is dead simple, or it should be if you all would
>> stop being bureaucratic, obstinate meddlers.
>> -g
> Alan asked the question "Would this suffice:" so we're just trying to
> help, the hostility isn't necessary.


> We're expected to review podling releases and help educate them about
> what needs to go into the NOTICE file so we need to understand what
> the requirements are. After numerous threads about this, questions to
> Legal etc, over some years, AIUI the consensus is that few things
> require an entry in the NOTICE file and you should not put things in
> there unless explicitly required to. I'm totally happy to be told
> thats wrong, its good if we all get a common understanding so podlings
> know what to expect. If uou're now suggesting that 3rd party code
> under AL2 then section 4(d) requires us to add an entry in our NOTICE
> then we should clarify that because most podlings don't do that now,
> if there is any question then we should just raise a Legal JIRA to
> clarify.

IANAL but here's my understanding as someone who's put in a lot of time on the
NOTICE issue...

Since Alan works for LinkedIn, from the ASF's standpoint he has the
authorization to remove or relocate LinkedIn copyright notifications.  The
situation is similar to what happens when a podling starts up with an initial
code drop and we ask a representative of the copyright holder to remove or
relocate copyright notifications.

However, it appears that unlike many, many other contributions to ASF projects
by employees of LinkedIn, in this case LinkedIn's authorization for Alan to
contribute the code comes with the condition that he must ensure that the
copyright notification is preserved in some form.  (They're calling it
"internal" code, but from our perspective how the material was developed
within LinkedIn is not relevant so long as they hold the copyright on all of
it -- it's no longer "internal" once Alan commits it to our repository.)

This adds a small amount of complexity to the NOTICE file, and IMO, in general
we should not encourage it.  Technically, every copyright holder who
contributes a copyrightable amount of material to a project could insist on
inclusion within NOTICE, but that would be burdensome -- the less legal stuff
that we force all the non-lawyers working on ASF projects to deal with, the
better.  Lengthy, complicated NOTICE files are a pain both for us and for
downstream consumers because they make us think about questions like "Do we
have to respin a new RC to update the year in the LinkedIn copyright notice?".
The advantage of providing "credit" a la Cocoon is that if somebody messes up
and an errant patch damages the credits file and omits or miscredits some
contributor, that's bad but at least there are no legal ramifications.  Not so
with copyright notices.

Nevertheless, the contribution with the copyright notifications relocated to
NOTICE is valid and we should accept it gratefully.  At least it is being been
adapted so that it will no longer contain copyright notifications in each
source file, reducing the legal maintenance burden somewhat and avoiding the
social issues associated with @author tags.

Marvin Humphrey

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