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From Christopher <>
Subject Re: What is the legal basis for enforcing release policies at ASF?
Date Fri, 21 Aug 2015 02:11:09 GMT
It sounds to me like you're saying that the license under which code is
offered (to anybody who encounters it) is independent of the license
declaration attached to the project.

This makes sense to me, presuming that we still agree that the license
declaration (header or license file) is the best way to communicate the
license under which the code is offered.

It seems to follow, then, that were saying that there are sometimes errors
in the declaration, where it doesn't reflect what license the code is
actually offered under (if any). Further, we're saying that this is
hopefully less likely in a release, which has been vetted with greater

Is that right?

If so, then it seems to me that the question really becomes: is it
sufficiently communicated by the very fact of being a snapshot (any state
of the code other than in a release), that errors are possible in the
license? I would think the answer is yes, personally. However, I'm not sure
it really means much, because it's still reasonable for people to assume
the license declaration is correct, until shown otherwise.

It seems to me that the very fact that any license declaration is attached
to the code at all, regardless of its state as a release or snapshot,
shifts the burden of responsibility to actually demonstrate that the
license does not apply. This is the reverse of the case when no obvious
license declaration is made. The burden in that case is to show that the
license does apply. Isn't that why we explicitly put headers on each file,
in addition to the LICENSE file? To explicitly shift this burden to us in
order to encourage free use of our software by others?

On Thu, Aug 20, 2015, 21:19 William A Rowe Jr <> wrote:

> On Aug 20, 2015 7:39 PM, "Alex Harui" <> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > On 8/20/15, 5:27 PM, "William A Rowe Jr" <> wrote:
> >
> > >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.
> >
> > Committers sometimes make mistakes.  IIRC, Justin recently caught a
> > mistake where some files accidentally got their non-AL headers replaced
> > with AL headers.
> >
> > Large codebase contributions, especially initial podling code grants
> might
> > be messy as well until scrubbed and approved for an official ASF release.
> > I know from experience.
> We don't disagree on this point.  Sometimes, they are caught through the
> release process, or by peer review.  Other times, we must retract the claim
> we offered.
> Nothing changes the fact that code is either offered under the AL 2.0 or
> another license, unless the author/licensor changes their license
> retroactively.

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