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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: What is the legal basis for enforcing release policies at ASF?
Date Fri, 21 Aug 2015 18:37:23 GMT
[Failing at dealing with this cross-posted and variously-branched discussion on two lists,
so I am doing it too.  Also OT with respect to Ross's declaration, but it has to do with the
fact that "release" is not so well distinguished as one might hope.]

Minor nit? #1: 

Generally, because of what is seen in the repository in terms of LICENSE and NOTICE placement,
it appears to apply to everything at and below that point in the repository.  A casual observer
cannot tell that there is an important ceremonial distinction with regard to using the archived
packaging of an approved Apache Release.

Not-so-minor nit? #2: 

    "Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) 
    under one or more contributor license agreements. 
    See the NOTICE file **distributed** with this work
    for additional information regarding copyright 
    ownership.  The ASF licenses this file to you under 
    the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the 'License')" at 
    the very top of many individual files in typical ASF 
    Project repositories.

Techno-legal nit? #3: 

    From <>:

    "You hereby grant to the Foundation and to recipients 
    of software **distributed** by the Foundation a perpetual,
    worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, 
    irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare 
    derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, 
    sublicense, and distribute Your Contributions and such 
    derivative works."

 ** emphasis mine in both places
Avoiding the nit-pickers by picking more nit? #4

A while back, because I was concerned that some user of a contribution of mine might be trapped
in a hair splitting between "distribution," non-distribution, and "released" I made a supplemental
declaration.  I provided a copy to the Secretary of the Foundation on 2013-03-08.

This broader statement grants to **all parties obtaining** any past or future ASF **contribution**
of mine effectively the same copyright license granted under the iCLA without the condition
that it be distributed by the Foundation.  You can see it in all of its glory at <$0deb3560$29c1a020$>.
 This is not the same as an ALv2 license, but it basically gives to all of those parties the
same terms as provided to the ASF under the iCLA (technically not an ALv2 license either).

I have made a comparable declaration by any contribution I might make to LibreOffice.  I have
*not* provided LibreOffice with the dual MPL-LGPL license declaration they tend to request.
(The receipt of that declaration has not been acknowledged, but I stand behind it.)  

(Le sigh)

 - Dennis  

-----Original Message-----
From: Ross Gardler [] 
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2015 09:14
To:; ComDev <>
Subject: RE: What is the legal basis for enforcing release policies at ASF?

[ ... ]

Our policy is that the combined works are RELEASED under ALv2. That combined work is only
licensed as  such when the foundation formally approves it. This happens when the PMC members
indicate that, to the best of their knowledge, a specified combined work (a source package)
conforms with the legal and policy expectations of ask source code included (both ours and

Individual contributions in our source repository are under ALv2. These are approved as such,
through a best effort analysis, at the point of contribution. [ ... ]

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