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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject RE: What is the legal basis for enforcing release policies at ASF?
Date Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:13:54 GMT
Jim already addressed this in an overlapping email. I tried to address it but it seems quibbling
over individual words describing process was more important than understanding the intended
message. So let me try again, this time using the corrected words in my email and adding Jim's
further clarifications.

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. However, this thread is not
about individual contributions it is about releases. Therefore this point is not relevant
to the question asked, only the previous paragraph concerning releases of combined works is
important for the question in the subject line.

Sent from my Windows Phone
From: William A Rowe Jr<>
Sent: ‎8/‎21/‎2015 9:01 AM
To: ComDev<>
Subject: Re: What is the legal basis for enforcing release policies at ASF?

On Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 10:41 AM, Jim Jagielski <> wrote:

> > On Aug 20, 2015, at 8:27 PM, William A Rowe Jr <>
> wrote:
> >
> > On Aug 20, 2015 08:52, "Jim Jagielski" <> wrote:
> >>
> >> Coming in late.
> >>
> >> A snapshot is not a release. Licenses "kick in" at distribution/
> >> release.
> >
> > I want to fix FUD before it infests the rafters and subfloor.  I really
> > have never read something so stupid or ill phrased...
> >
> > Every contributor committing code to any ASF project, or even
> contributing
> > it to us in public forums (including our mailing lists, our bug trackers,
> > etc) is committing that code under the AL or has designated explicitly
> what
> > licence it came in under (commit message: forked from BSD-licensed code
> > base at {URL}.)
> >
> > It is generally AL code all the time.  I don't know where you invented a
> > 'kick-in' concept, but unless the committers are violating their
> > nothing could be further from the truth.
> >
> >> There is also a trademark issue as well... only the ASF
> >> can declare something as a release.
> >
> > There we agree :)
> Please reread what was said... We are talking *releases* here.
> Making something publicly available is NOT A RELEASE. It may be
> under a license, but is IS NOT A RELEASE.

I reread what you wrote,

> A snapshot is not a release.

We know this and agree on this, and you just responded to the obvious but
failed to address the second half of your statement.

> Licenses "kick in" at distribution/release.

They do?  This is the statement of the VP Legal, so whether it is right or
wrong, here at the ASF we attempt to honor the 'spirit' of the policy of
other licensors when we use their code, and we would hope others would
honor the 'spirit' of our policies here.  It that is the underlying
assumption, that the code is not licensed by the ASF until a formal release
occurs, then we need to revisit the many implications of that philosophy.

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