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From Alex Harui <>
Subject Re: IP clearance clarification: copyright notices
Date Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:32:07 GMT

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.


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