I didn't modify the old pt.xml file, I wrote a new one entirely from
scratch. ...
Sorry for being unclear and short-spoken, I didn't meant to offend you.
However, did you really start with an empty file in an editor and typed
in all the pattern strings?

The issues are as follows.
There are Original Works. If someone creates a new file by typing
stuff into an editor he creates an Original Work. Running the
hyphenation pattern programm on a properly marked up dictionary or
corpus is probably also creating an Original Work, with certain
caveats (it wasn't, for example, if the dictionary was marked up
by someone else for the sole purpose of serving as input for the
hyphenation pattern program).
Mechanically transforming an Original Work creates another
represenation of this work, for example changing Unix LF to
DOS CRLF, or changing ISO-8859-9 encoding into UTF-8 encoding.
You can't claim copyright to the result of such a transformation.
In order to claim copyright you have to do some non-trivial
processing, preferably involving some manual work. This creates
a Derived Work (unless you mutilated the original thouroughly
enough that you again created an Original Work).
Whether cut&paste significant portions of a TeX hyphenation file
into a thin XML frame can be considered a Mechanical Transformation
or whether it is non-trivial enough to make a Derived Work has yet
to be decided in court. Adding hyphenation exceptions should suffice

Anyway, I suppose you can claim copyright for the file you submitted.
This is, however, not yet the end of the story.
Again, you probably used some data to derive the patterns, be it a
corpus or a TeX file. You'll have to check (and/or decide) whether
you produced an Original Work, i.e. you did by far the most work yourself,
and none of your data sources prohibited you by any means to perform
this work, or whether you created a Derived Work. In the second case,
the license of your source data may place restrictions on your work
in case you want to have it distributed (nobody can prevent you from
using basically anything in private). For example, if you used an
LPPL'd TeX file as source, you can choose the license of your work
(LPPL isn't as viral as GPL), but you can't place it for example
under APL because of the file name restriction. You are forced to either
put your work under LPPL again, or an amended APL, or roll your own.

This is *still* not everything. You supplied a whole file, not a patch.
In this file you generously transferred your copyright to the ASF (this
fact crept into my brain only after I committed the file). You have to
be legally entitled to do so. If making file was part of your work, or
related to your work, you should check your contract whether you can
claim copyright for your work yourself and do what you want with it,
common practice is that by signing your contract you give up everything
to your employer. In this case the ASF needs a paper signed by you and
your boss which explicitely states that the copyright for the file was
assigned to the ASF. You can find a template here

Note that small patches are different, in this case I as a committer
create a Derived Work, and unless you as the patch submitter put a viral
licence into it, I can put the result under APL (implicitely), and I
already have sent in a paper assigning my copyright away.

Well, to keep it short, I'd vote to spare you the paperwork if you
tell us that you have the right to put the file under the Apache
license and assign the copyright to the ASF (you can keep it if you

The original TEX file was made by Paulo Rezende, now back in Brazil (at
Unicamp), and it was converted by Paulo Soares (working presently in
Portugal), who I contacted at the time. He posted no objection of us
replacing the file.
Asking him was nice, but from a legal point of view, he can't sue
anyone for replacing his file by something else :-)


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