-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Wednesday January 12, 2011, Josh Thompson wrote:
> On Tuesday January 11, 2011, Noah Baker wrote:
> > Hello, my question is for any licensing experts on the list.
> > 
> > I would like to contribute code/fixes to the VCL project, but my employer
> > prevents me from signing the ICLA. The only FOSS license I can release
> > code under is the modified/new BSD license. I am wondering if there is
> > any way for me to contribute code to VCL under this restriction.
> > 
> > I have noticed that VCL's web front end code contains a distribution of
> > Dojo, which is BSD (or AFL) licensed, and there are several other
> > components with different licensing requirements in, or otherwise
> > required by, the project.
> > 
> > The code I would most like to contribute is highly self-contained (a
> > full-featured KVM provisioning module with power_* functions, uses OS
> > functions, etc).  Could it be released separately under a BSD license and
> > somehow included or merged into VCL?
> > 
> > What about for other, less self-contained code, such as fixes?
> > 
> > Thanks, and please forgive my licensing ignorance; I'm a dev, not a
> > lawyer.
> > 
> > Noah Baker
> 
> Can anyone from the legal list answer these questions?
> 
> Thanks,
> Josh Thompson
> Apache VCL

Kevan's response reminded me I needed to forward the answers from the legal 
list.  Here they are:

- ----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Re: code contribution licensing question
Date: Thursday January 13, 2011, 1:22:08 am
From: "Jennifer O'Neill" <jennifer...@gmail.com>
To: legal-disc...@apache.org

The purpose of having all committers sign the ICLA is so that all "Apache"
code is licensed uniformly and ASF is better protected if there's a
challenge to the ownership of the IP.
If a developer wishes to contribute some material amount of code but can't
sign the ICLA, then his/her code contribution is evaluated just like any
other third-party code licensed under terms other than the ASL v.2.0.  I
assume that by the modified BSD, you mean the newer version that excludes
the advertising clause.  This license is compatible with the ASL v.2.0 and
there are certainly a number of Apache projects with dependencies on
BSD-licensed code.  Ultimately, though, it is up to the VCL project
committers whether to use any third-party code.

If a developer wants to contribute a patch or bug fix through Bugzilla or
the developers' mailing list, both of those forums require that the
developer first electronically agree that ASL v.2.0 will apply to the
submission.

Cheers,
Jennifer
- -----------------------------------------

- ----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: Re: code contribution licensing question
Date: Thursday January 13, 2011, 11:14:06 am
From: Sam Ruby <ru...@intertwingly.net>
To: legal-disc...@apache.org

On Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 1:22 AM, Jennifer O'Neill <jennifer...@gmail.com> 
wrote:
> The purpose of having all committers sign the ICLA is so that all "Apache"
> code is licensed uniformly and ASF is better protected if there's a
> challenge to the ownership of the IP.
> If a developer wishes to contribute some material amount of code but can't
> sign the ICLA, then his/her code contribution is evaluated just like any
> other third-party code licensed under terms other than the ASL v.2.0.  I
> assume that by the modified BSD, you mean the newer version that excludes
> the advertising clause.  This license is compatible with the ASL v.2.0 and
> there are certainly a number of Apache projects with dependencies on
> BSD-licensed code.  Ultimately, though, it is up to the VCL project
> committers whether to use any third-party code.

I'd like to draw attention to Jennifer's use of the word 'dependency'
here.  I agree: if VCL wanted to have an external dependency on a
BSD-licensed KVM provisioning module then this would be no problem if
the dependency was documented properly.

'Including' or 'merging' is a different matter entirely.  One of the
reasons for the ICLA is that section 3 makes an explicit grant of all
of the necessary patent licenses that the Contributor may have on the
combination of this code with the project to which they are
contributing.  Section 4 clarifies this with respect to individuals
who have employers.

The net of this is that 'including' or 'merging' of such code is not
something that we would routinely allow.  That is not to say that it
can't be done -- if you look around you will find tiny bits of public
domain code in various projects.  It is a matter of evaluating the
risks and the benefits on a case by case basis, and (should the
decision be to proceed) documenting all of this properly in the
various files that accompany a release.

- - Sam Ruby

- -----------------------------------------
- -- 
- -------------------------------
Josh Thompson
VCL Developer
North Carolina State University

my GPG/PGP key can be found at pgp.mit.edu
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v2.0.16 (GNU/Linux)

iEYEARECAAYFAk01+KIACgkQV/LQcNdtPQP0UgCfSYZeTZw08DPoiY7N9KXhbPkQ
HekAnjrrQ0axRXOuMILx8HdLyQ2YGhwj
=h5EF
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Reply via email to