Hello all (licensing specialists, XML PMC people, fop-devs)

(I don't know where might be the best place to discuss this. fop-dev is
currently very low-traffic.)

The FOP team needs help. In February we realized that we had problematic
hyphenation pattern files in our codebase. For example, some of them
were derived from GPL-licensed files.

Some action has already been taken. I've documented the whole auditing
process and status here:

I'm at a point where I need some advice on how to proceed from here.
Here are the questions, I hope are the right ones and help us to resolve
these issues quickly.

Before we start here's a little background on the hyphenation stuff:
Our hyphenation file are XML files that are derived from TeX hyphenation
files (ASCII format). These XML files reside in CVS (xml-fop/src/hyph,
formerly xml-fop/hyph). During build they are parsed into Java objects
and serialized using Java serialization. These serialized objects are
included in the JAR (fop.jar) in the binary distribution.

1. Do our hyphenation files have to be licensed under the ASL? Or is it
possible to do something similar we do with Java libraries (external
dependencies) such as JUnit and JDOM (add the file to CVS and have an
accompanying file containing its license)?

2. If the former (of [1]) is true, we need a grant from the copyright
holder of the original file, right? What if the original file is unclear
about the copyright holder (multiple names, for example) and about the
license (no explicit license, for example)? Please see the Wiki page for

3. (Question is somewhat general) What's the threshold for the necessity
of a grant? Does a non-committer have to submit a grant on a single new

4. Some of the hyphenation pattern files are licensed under the LPPL
(LaTeX project public license, http://www.latex-project.org/lppl.html).
We'd like to have clearance to use, modify and distribute files under
this license in the FOP project.

5. Can we modify and relicense under the ASL hyphenation pattern files
clearly stated as being in the public domain without having a grant but
giving credit where possible?

6. We can't use files containing a restriction like "Can be used freely
for non-commercial purposes.", except if we can positively identify the
copyright holder and get a grant, right?

Thank you in advance for your help!

Jeremias Maerki
FOP committer and XML PMC member

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