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From Roman Shaposhnik <>
Subject Is it ok to put ASF header onto ALv2 compatibly licensed code?
Date Tue, 09 Aug 2016 21:23:58 GMT
A very good question/point originated as part of the HAWQ podling
release discussion. I'm forking it into a separate thread and CCing
legal-discuss to help clarify this (at least for myself) once and for all.

On Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 1:55 PM, Alex Harui <> wrote:
> AIUI, if it is 3rd party and otherwise unmodified, modification of the
> headers is not an option.

Alex, I actually happen to 100% agree with you on top of which,
our current policy seems to agree with us:
which means in NO way am I proposing to re-open it for discussion
around modifying the policy.

That said, I actually think we may not have a legal leg to stand on if
we want to claim it is actually illegal for an ASF header to be put on
the 3d party code (even if it is unmodified) that is licensed under the
licensed compatible with ALv2. Walk with me here...

At the end of the day, adding the header is not some magic operation
it is a human readable statement. So lets read through the most
relevant part of that statement:

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. Clearly, only original author(s) can make
that statement.

However, a different way to read it (tell me if I'm stretching here) is to
interpret it as an overall project that is being "Licensed to..." with the
file itself remaining under the original license. That, of course, would
require preservation of the original licensing information (made even
trickier if the file didn't include licensing statement to begin with). However,
if the original licensing information is preserved it sounds like adding
such a statement should be possible.

What do others think?


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