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From Joe Schaefer <>
Subject Re: Thrift release legal issues
Date Mon, 17 Aug 2009 00:38:39 GMT
----- Original Message ----

> From: Ralph Goers <>
> To:
> Cc: Legal Discuss <>
> Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:13:37 PM
> Subject: Re: Thrift release legal issues
> See below. First, this should have been asked on legal-discuss.  Second, the 
> answers below are just my opinion.
> On Aug 16, 2009, at 4:24 PM, Joe Schaefer wrote:
> > I'm trying to coax out a release of Apache Thrift and ran into a
> > few obstacles.  Maybe you can offer me a little guidance?
> > 
> > First, I found that the CCLA from Facebook excludes
> > contributions from 3rd parties who wrote code for Thrift
> > prior to the move to Apache.  With the exception of,
> > all of the corporate entities appear to have a CCLA on file
> > with us.  I've attempted to contact the folks from
> > to request that a CCLA be filed for their Thrift work.
> > 
> > I've also found that there are 6 individuals listed in the
> > Facebook CCLA who do not have ICLAs with us and have accordingly
> > contacted them as well.
> Was the Facebook CCLA a software grant and were the 6 individuals Facebook 
> employees (if not, why were they listed in the CCLA)?

They were not Facebook employees.  The individuals in question were listed
as exclusions to the covered contributions. See

> If they did their 
> development on behalf of Facebook then as I understand it Facebook owns the 
> rights to the software and ICLAs shouldn't be required. The software grant from 
> Facebook would be enough.

It isn't.

> > 
> > So the first question is: do we have any contingency strategies
> > for the likely situation where not all past contributors to Thrift
> > will have paperwork on file in the near future?  Can Thrift still
> > cut a release or does that block it?  Thrift was in fact an open
> > source project prior to coming here, and it *has* released stuff under
> > an alternate license.  Does that mitigate the issue at all?
> See my comment above.
> > 
> > The second question regards the LICENSE file.  I'm accustomed to
> > seeing all the licenses for all the code to be distributed listed
> > in the LICENSE file, but don't see anywhere within the Incubator
> > docs that this concept is mandatory.  I've been pushing Thrift to
> > do this because that's the way I've usually seen it done but the
> > idea hasn't gained any traction with the thrift devs yet.  Is there
> > such a policy, does it simply constitute best practice, or am I
> > barking up the wrong tree?
> I was under the impression the LICENSE file should contain the Apache license. 
> All other licenses should be referenced in the NOTICE file. See 

That's not the way the Apache HTTPD Server manages their LICENSE file.
Each 3rd party component's corresponding license is included in the

> > The third issue is that Thrift intends to distribute with an LGPL
> > dependency on their build system.  I'm familiar with the scary language
> > adopted by the legal team regarding the LGPL, but don't consider this
> > situation to be problematic since it's just a few Makefiles and such.
> > Will I need to get special permission from legal for this?
> If they are using Maven 2 and if the LGPL dependency is referenced as a 
> dependency in the pom such that it is downloaded during the build and is not 
> distributed with Apache software (or if the build process is functionally 
> equivalent to this), I personally would have no problem with it being used as 
> part of the build.

It's a C-style project, with C-style Makefiles.  Nothing is downloaded during
the build process- the LGPL'd Makefiles in question are in subversion and to
be distributed within a release package.


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