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The circumstances being what they are, would not the best path for ASF to take(as seems to me to
be the case) be to accept the grant (in the event Oracle is offering it *nulla condicione
Assuming that Oracle is offering the code, trademarks, etc to The Apache
Software Foundation under the usual Apache Software grant
(http://www.apache.org/licenses/software-grant.txt), I'm not convinced
that The Apache Software Foundation could make that donation. Whilst
"Distribute and sublicense" is legally acceptable, a flat out donation
is skating on thin ice. (The exception would be if The Apache Software
Foundation was being dissolved, and in that specific situation, the code
would have to be donated under the Apache License to an organization
that had 501(c)(3) status. Equivalent status in a jurisdiction outside
of the United States does not count.)
Furthermore, whilst it is fine to ask for the donation, lawyers from
both The Apache Software Foundation and The Document Foundation would
have to verify that the donation was legal in both jurisdictions.
(United States, and Germany.) (Going by memory, the paperwork to solicit
donations in DE is only 20 pages long, and about 30 days to complete.)
then I would > expect that they/we would spent quite a bit of time
determining the "best" place for it..
That place being somewhere that The Apache Software Foundation can place
the code, and be in compliance with US Law, Delaware Law, The Apache
Software Foundation by-laws, the laws of the state that the recipient
organization is in, and the by-laws of the organization in which it is
Somewhere that the Apache Software Foundation legal team can ensure that
is kosher for _both_ parties.
Where *else* would even be a *remotely* viable candidate?
There might be no viable candidates.
Just because _The Document Foundation_ has filled out most of the
paperwork for Germany, does not mean that it can be the recipient of any
donations from the United States. For starters, has The Document
Foundation filled out any of the legally required paperwork to solicit
donations in any state of the United States? (Fortunately, the same
form can be used in most of the states. However, it still has to be
customized for each state.)
I'd suggest that the reason Oracle apparently ignored the letter sent by
The Document Foundation to them, was to avoid any potential penalties
imposed by the State of California. Whilst the penalty is chump change,
it is cheaper to avoid the potential situation of having to pay that
penalty in the first place. Especially when you are giving something away.
If Bing copied Google, there wouldn't be anything new worth requesting.
If Bing did not copy Google, there wouldn't be anything relevant worth
DaveJakeman 20110207 Groklaw.
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