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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: LICENSE and NOTICE Role Models
Date Wed, 11 Dec 2013 05:24:49 GMT
On Tue, Dec 10, 2013 at 8:10 PM, P. Taylor Goetz <> wrote:
> It's kind of interesting to see how this has changed over time and varies
> from project to project.

Here's Roy Fielding in June 2008, saying exactly the same thing you'll hear
from us now:

    If the notices aren't required by the bits in the package, then they
    don't belong in NOTICE.  That means there will be a different NOTICE file
    required for each differently packaged set of bits.  We must do this by

Because the file is named "NOTICE", people tend to think it's for anything
notice-ish.  This is a pernicious misconception which keeps coming back over
and over like a weed, and it used to be that not a lot of people besides Roy
were effective at combatting it.  Here's Roy in 2008 again:

    > Furthermore, I assume it is not problematic to have more stuff in the
    > NOTICE file(s) than is really required.

    Yes, it is problematic.  Consider it a tax on all downstream recipients.

Roy can't be everywhere, though, and there are a lot of TLPs who have messy
licensing documentation because they didn't get proper guidance.

The Licensing How-To, added earlier this year, provides a cookbook approach
which is supposed to yield appropriately sparse LICENSE and NOTICE files.

Hopefully the Incubator is now more consistently graduating projects whose
licensing documentation approaches the unchanging minimalist ideal.

Marvin Humphrey

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