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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: Confusion over NOTICE vs LICENSE files
Date Fri, 12 Feb 2016 00:52:49 GMT
On Sat, Feb 6, 2016 at 6:34 PM, Justin Mclean <> wrote:
> Here what I worked out needs to be added to LICENSE and NOTICE for each type
> of bundled license.

Good stuff!

Here's a old (2002) but succinct snippet on combining licenses:

    When two licenses A and B are combined, the following things can happen:
    (1) A subsumes B, (2) B subsumes A, (3) A adds to B so that you must
    observe the requirements of both, or (4) A and B clash — they cannot both
    be satisfied.

As I understand it, when bundling works under other license terms into one of
our distibutions, we have two main objectives:

* Fulfill all requirements of the other licenses.
* Ensure that Apache-2.0 subsumes all other licenses.  This means that
  users who satisfy the terms of Apache-2.0 satisfy all requirements for all
  works in the package, and allows us to advertise the package as available
  under "Apache-2.0", rather than "Apache-2.0 plus FooLicense-3.0 plus

Here's a more recent article (2011) on combining licenses:

> CC-A               Y  N

I believe you're referring to the Creative Commons Attribution license, which
normally goes by the acronym "CC-BY".

CC-BY is category B now -- it was moved -- so it can't be bundled in a source
release.  (See LEGAL-167.)

> Does anyone know what goes in NOTICE for Apache 1.1 licensed software?

There are no active products using Apache-1.1 -- though old releases are still
available -- so this question is mostly academic.  But it's very interesting

Here is the relevant clause from Apache-1.1:

    3. The end-user documentation included with the redistribution,
       if any, must include the following acknowledgment:
           "This product includes software developed by the
            Apache Software Foundation ("
       Alternately, this acknowledgment may appear in the software itself,
       if and wherever such third-party acknowledgments normally appear.

If the "This product..." line ends up in NOTICE, then Apache-2.0 can be said
to subsume Apache-1.1.  Otherwise, they "add" (by the terms of the
article quoted above).

It turns out that that "attribution" clause prevents Apache-1.1 from being
subsumed by the GPL, even though Apache-1.1 is otherwise very similar to
BSD-3-clause.  The primary reason that the NOTICE file was added in Apache-2.0
was to make it possible to move that notice out of the license, because the
GPL allows the preservation of notices even though it must subsume all other

In other words, the NOTICE file originated as a clever legal hack to enable
subsumption of Apache-1.1 by Apache-2.0 while facilitating subsumption of
Apache-2.0 by the GPL.

> Oddly the BSD with advertising clause is not listed in the Category A, B or
> X lists so while it seems to have been discussed (at length) it may not
> actually be able to be bundled.

The BSD-4-clause license with the advertising clause is not approved for use
by ASF projects.  It's not even OSI approved, and it's vanishingly rare these
days, anyway.  We don't have to worry about it.

Marvin Humphrey


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