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From Roman Shaposhnik <>
Subject Re: Is it ok to put ASF header onto ALv2 compatibly licensed code?
Date Tue, 09 Aug 2016 23:46:58 GMT
On Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 2:48 PM, Mike Jumper <> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 2:23 PM, Roman Shaposhnik <> wrote:
>> ...
>> =======================================================
>> Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one
>> or more contributor license agreements.  See the NOTICE file
>> distributed with this work for additional information
>> regarding copyright ownership.
>> =======================================================
>> There are two way I can see how to read this "Licensed to..." statement.
>> The first one is, indeed, along the lines of an original author re-licensing
>> code under a different license.
> I don't think this can be read that way. The quoted portion refers
> only to the software being licensed to the ASF, not the ASF
> re-licensing the software under a different license. The relevant text
> for that normally immediately follows the quoted portion:
> "... The ASF licenses this file to you under the Apache License,
> Version 2.0 (the 'License'); ..."
>> Clearly, only original author(s) can make that statement.
> Not necessarily. The original license may allow for third-parties to
> sublicense the code, given restrictions.

To me, the most thorny question in this is around what I would call
'default rights'. IOW, is the only way to allow for third parties to
sublicense is to clearly state it in the license text or does the reverse
apply (third party can always sublicense unless explicitly prohibited
by the license text)?

On top of which, the difference between re-licensing vs. sublicensing
seems to be of interest here as well.

Do you think that ALv2 header the way it is written implies re-licensing
or sublicensing?

To illustrate the difference lets take the most liberal license of all (MIT).
There's nothing preventing sublicensing OR re-licensing in the text of the
license itself, but at the same time the FAQ makes it pretty clear that one
is allowed and the other one is not:

Can I redistribute MIT-licensed code under another license?

Yes. You cannot "re-license" MIT-licensed code, and the MIT-licensed
code will remain
under the MIT License, but you can redistribute it as part of another
project under any
license you wish. You should make it clear that any changes that you make to the
MIT-licensed code are released under your new license. The MIT License
text & copyright
notice must still be included with any unmodified MIT-licensed code.

Suppose I have a source file under MIT license and all I want to do is
to add a bit of
verbiage that, when distributed as part of the ASF project, the code
is redistributed (NOT
re-licensed) under the ALv2 (on top of originally being available
under the MIT license).

It seems like there's no ASF-sanctioned way for me to make that statement, since
ALv2 header will imply re-licensing.


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