(ccing fop-dev and XML PMC)

Last year I've invested hours after hours doing a license audit on the
XML FOP project mainly because of problems with the hyphenation pattern
files. These files have been converted to XML by FOP contributors but
almost all files are coming from TeX software repositories where
licenses are diverse or non-existent. Some problems were resolved, more
than half of the files removed in the process.

For one of the files I have been able to get the original author of the
hyphenation pattern file to submit a grant form by fax to the ASF. That
grant has never been confirmed although I've pinged Jim twice (in April
last year). Following that I gave up hunting for grants. I understand
that dealing with this is annoying but it brings up the question about
on one side requiring grant forms and on the other side having a good
infrastructure not depending on one person alone to handle it all.

But that's not the reason I write this. I've done the relicensing on the
XML FOP project and was again confronted with our hyphenation files. Two
of them now have the ALv2 header because for these two files all legal
problems have been dealt with (although we don't have any copyright
grants on file for them. See big question below). The other files carry
copyright statements (or just a file history with names) but appear to
be distributable by the ASF. I still have to figure out what to do with
them. Most of them appear to be in the public domain (although this is
usually not explicitly state as such) so I will probably simply add the
ALv2 header if nobody sees any reason why I couldn't do so. I'm real
tired of the problem.

My big question: The ALv2 specifies implicit grants, right? (Section 5)
Can I apply this section to contributions done before the ALv2 was here?

Example: For the file (da.xml, Dansk hyphenation patterns, currently not
in CVS) mentioned above, I know that a grant was sent to the ASF by the
original author of the file (although there's no confirmation of the
receipt). And the person who converted the file to XML intentionally
submitted it to the FOP mailing list for inclusion in the project. It
would appear that I am now able add the ALv2 header to the file and add
it to CVS again. Any reason I can't do that?

As a related question:
The implicit grant works for original works only. Derived works still
need a written permission by the original author(s). I'd imagine a
written permission is enough. No grant form necessary. Correct? But then,
where's the border between not needing a grant and needing one (for
example for the new projects coming to the ASF)? Just wondering.

A slightly out-of-date log of the FOP audit is here:

I apologize if this post may carry a somewhat bitter undertone. It took
a lot of time already and I'm still not finished. I wanted to do it
right but that's very difficult. So thanks in advance for any insight
and good ideas.

Jeremias Maerki
FOP committer, XML PMC representative for FOP

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