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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: IP Clearance before releasing
Date Tue, 10 Dec 2013 04:00:05 GMT
On Sun, Dec 8, 2013 at 7:25 AM, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
> My understanding is that incubating releases can have small IP loose
> ends, but not that they can proceed before the main clearance of an
> initial code donation.

It would be good to establish some clarity around this issue.  Here is how I
understand things...

The "incubating" label, while useful in setting user expectations, is 100%
marketing.  Incubating releases *are* Apache releases, in that they are an act
of the Foundation, provide indemnity to the individuals participating in their
preparation, and are subject to all Foundation-wide release policies.  Here's
Board member Doug Cutting:

    Jukka Zitting wrote:
    > There is clearly a widely held feeling that incubating
    > releases are different than "normal" ASF releases.

    This is the crux of the issue.  I fail to see how they are fundamentally
    different.  Releases and the release process is one of the most
    standardized things in the ASF: 3+1 PMC votes, distributed on, etc.  Do releases from the Incubator project differ
    from those of other projects?  I've always thought felt that the
    Incubator is just another project, one that specializes in nursing new
    projects to maturity.  But it has no special privileges or
    responsibilities, does it?


When the Incubator PMC votes to approve release artifacts which violate ASF
policy, the product is still an official ASF release -- whether the policy
violation is minor (missing header) or severe (copyright violation).  However,
since the release violates policy, someone like Roy could come through and
pull it off our servers:

    I consider them to be trojan horses.  I wouldn't hesitate for a second to
    delete them outright.  Actually, what I've done in the past (yes, I have
    done this before) is move them to a subdir of my homedir and then tell the
    relevant project to WTFU and do it right.  Note, however, I would not
    delete the ones in archive -- that would be silly.

Therefore, when we say that incubating releases "can have small IP loose
ends", we mean:

*   This is an official release, created by an act of the Foundation.
*   It is known to violate policy.
*   It could be removed, but no one has done so yet.

I'm comfortable with relying on "prosecutorial discretion" for inconsequential
small stuff, but not something major like source code provenance.

Marvin Humphrey

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