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From Stian Soiland-Reyes <>
Subject Re: IP clearance clarification: copyright notices
Date Thu, 13 Nov 2014 22:14:55 GMT
I think it's good to be flexible here depending on the project's
needs. A fresh project might need more help that is easiest to achieve
after transitioning the code to Apache.

Some of the terminology of the incubator assumes the incubator project
is showing up on the Apache doorstep with a USB key full of
source-code that have never before been on the Internet - this might
need some updating to also cater for the modern reality of distributed
and ad-hoc collaboration on open source using tools like
git/mercurial, Github and Bitbucket.

Being picky about "the first commit after incubation" seems a bit daft
- after all a source code import should include the full history, and
that historical source-code would most likely not have the "right"
copyright/license headers. The hard deadline must be for the first
release, though.

For our incubator project (Taverna), we saw the need to reorganize our
current git repositories (which were a bit too numerous) as part of
the incubation process.

We therefore have made a separate staging area on Github, and then
basically we will move from* to* step by step. Another reason why we
have to do this is that requesting additional git repositores at is a bit more heavyweight compared to [New repository]
button on Github - so we must get the repository names etc. right to
start with.

But this also allows us to sort out bureaucratic things without
affecting the existing repositories, which are still in daily use (in
preparing a "last non-Apache-release"). It is therefore not any
problem to change licenses, groupIds and copyrights within that
staging repository.

But that staging-incubation model would probably be too heavy for the
hobby projects that are growing up and just have a single repository,
or for large commercial projects which don't want to publish as
open-source until it is under Apache.

On 13 November 2014 18:32, Alex Harui <> wrote:
> On 11/13/14, 2:18 AM, "Bertrand Delacretaz" <> wrote:
>>In the vote thread about [1] a question came up about the following
>>clause, from our IP clearance form:
>>> Check and make sure that the files that have been donated have been
>>> updated to reflect the new ASF copyright.
>>I think this actually covers two distinct things:
>>1) Moving any existing non-Apache copyright notices to a NOTICE file,
>>if the owner of the donated code wants that, or otherwise removing
>>them or making them smaller to avoid bloating the code with multiple
>>copyright notices., if possible. All done by whoever donates the code
>>- as per the "Should a project move non-ASF copyright notices from
>>Apache source files to the NOTICE file?" section in [2], we don't want
>>to that ourselves.
>>2) Adding Apache copyright/license headers where required
>>IMO there's no need for 2) to happen before the donation, that just
>>has to happen before the first release of that code.
>>Do people agree? Shall we reformulate that requirement to better
>>express that it's only 1) that's relevant before accepting the donated
> Hi Bertrand,
> The way I’ve interpreted this is that the “donation” occurs when the donor
> submits the software grant and secretary records it.  All the donor is
> saying by submitting the grant is “I’m ok with you having this list of
> things” and makes no guarantees that the list of things are acceptable to
> Apache.  A friend can give me a gift of a food basket without realizing
> I’m allergic to one of the things in there.
> The IP clearance process is where the receiving project makes the list of
> things acceptable to Apache.  It can toss out things that Apache is
> allergic to and do other preparations before it lands in an Apache repo.
> Maybe it can wait until first release or first commit, but IMO, I’ve been
> trying to make the headers right before it hits the repo by running RAT
> before committing.
> Copyright law, AIUI, prevents the receiving project from moving copyrights
> without the copyright owner’s permission.  Thus, if the donor has time to
> insert Apache headers and move copyrights to NOTICE, that is very helpful,
> but if the donor is short on time, he can give someone in the receiving
> project permission to do so.
> So, IMO, there is no need for any copyright mucking before the donation is
> accepted, as long as there are people with the time and permission to muck
> with it after, but it sure helps.  Flex did take a donation where I fixed
> up the headers for the donor because the donor was short on time and
> didn’t want to create another place to store a branch of the code with
> modified headers.  The donor’s code was already on GitHub and it felt
> strange to have him change his headers in the public GitHub copy or one of
> its branches.  So I got explicit written (email) permission and fixed up
> the headers myself before submitting the package for IP clearance.
> That’s my understanding based on what I think I learned from you and the
> Adobe legal folks.
> -Alex

Stian Soiland-Reyes, myGrid team
School of Computer Science
The University of Manchester

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