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DEPRECATED  PAGE

Apereo/Sakai Licenses are now managed from http://www.apereo.org/licensing/agreements

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where do I find a copy of the ECL?
  2. Do I have to have a copy of the license in each source file?
  3. Can/Should individual committers claim any copyright in the source code files?
  4. What do I do if I have identified 3rd party code or a 3rd party library that I want to use in Sakai?
  5. What's the difference between the ECL applied to the Sakai bundle (compilation) and the individual licenses that still apply to the parts?
  6. How does the copyright date work?
  7. How do the Apereo Foundation Contribution License Agreements benefit contributors and the community?

Where do I find a copy of the Educational Community License (ECL)?

Beginning with Sakai version 2.6.0 the ECL license has been upgraded to ECL 2.0.
ECL 1 - http://www.opensource.org/licenses/ecl1.php

ECL 2 - http://www.opensource.org/licenses/ecl2.php

Do I have to have a copy of the license in each source file?

No. Each file must have a copyright statement that refers to the license, and some files may require additional attribution which is placed in the Acknowledgments Screen . See Applying the ECL.

Can/Should individual committers claim any copyright in the source code files?

No. The only Apereo Foundation related copyright notice should be for The Apereo Foundation.

The following text is derived from the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) based on an e-mail from Sander Striker which can be found here  (<--- stale link. needs updating.). It describes some of the issues with multiple copyrights. Please substitute the Apereo Foundation wherever you see Sakai Foundation or SF. 

The number of copyright lines has to be kept down to as few as possible. A single line with 'Copyright Apache Software Foundation' is prefered. While multiple copyright lines can coexist, they are undesirable for the following reasons:

  • Legal protection
    • When personal copyrights are mentioned, the SF can do very little when it comes to legal protection (nothing we can do when someone is sued on personal title).
  • Social aspects
    • Acknowledgment of contributions per file has shown not to promote collaborative development.There is the pattern where people try and touch as many files as possible to get their name in as many files as possible.
      There is also the creation of personal islands within the codebase. The acknowledgements make this sentiment stronger. It will be less likely that someone touches a file that is marked as someone elses domain. This is bad.

What do I do if I have identified 3rd party code or a 3rd party library that I want to use in Sakai?

The Licensing WG has developed a simple 3rd party evaluation process you can follow to ensure that you can confidently use/add the new library. If you have any questions at all, please post them to licensing@collab.sakaiproject.org .

What's the difference between the ECL applied to the Sakai bundle (compilation) and the individual licenses that still apply to the parts?

How does the copyright date work?

Complete details about the format of the copyright statement for source files can be found under Applying the ECL. That document also describes how the date should be considered. Here's a practical example to illustrate how the date should be listed in a copyright statement. Consider the following fictional source files:

Source file A: widgetint.java, originally developed in 2003, no substantial changes since.
Source file B: widget.java, originally developed in 2003, major revision in 2005.
Source file B: widgetlib.java, originally developed in 2005, major revisions in 2006.

The copyright lines should look like this in each file (date line only):

Source file A: Copyright (c) 2003 The Apereo Foundation.
Source file B: Copyright (c) 2003, 2005 The Apereo Foundation.
Source file C: Copyright (c) 2005-2006 The Apereo Foundation.

How do the Apereo Foundation Contributor License Agreements benefit contributors and the community?

The contributor license agreement (CLA) contains a mix of protections for the individual contributor and protections for the community which benefit the contributor indirectly. Specifically the CLA:

  • Limits Risk
    • Disclaimer of Warranties. Provides contributors with an opportunity to disclaim the implied warranties of merchantability (that the software is free from defects) and the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose (that the software is suitable for the user's intended use).
    • Limitation on Liability. Provides contributors with an opportunity to disclaim liability for damages, including any damages for lost profits or business interruption.
    • Limited Liability. The Apereo Foundation as an independent non-profit corporation with the benefits of limited liability is better situated to distribute Sakai and stand behind Sakai with its assets than a community of numerous contributors. While the ECL license under which Sakai software is distributed also disclaims any warranties and limits liability, open source licensing is still in many ways a novel practice, and it is helpful to have a corporate entity that will act as an additional layer of protection and facilitiate collective action.
  • Helps ensure a stable codebase
    • Makes Contributions Permanent. Grants a permanent license to use the contributed software. This provides key assurance for adopters, and all contributors benefit from a stable code base to work with and build upon. Contributors also represent that they have permission to make the contribution, including that any employer that may have rights in any intellectual property the contributor creates has entered into its own contribution agreement, waived its rights or otherwise consented.
    • Helps Safeguard Against Infringement Claims. The contribution agreement asks contributors to represent that their contribution is their own work, and if they are contributing software that they did not write, contributors are asked to represent that they have informed Apereo Foundation of any relevant licenses or other restrictions on use of the software, including any applicable patents. This helps ensure that any third party software incorporated into the distribution is appropriately attributed and licensed subject to terms that are compatible with the ECL.
    • Helps Safeguard Against Patent Surprises. The contribution agreement includes a license to any patents that are licensable by the contributor and would otherwise be infringed by use of the contribution. If a Sakai user were to try to assert that the use of Sakai infringes a patent they hold, they would lose the benefits of the patent license from the other contributors to Sakai.
  • Keeps transaction costs down
    • Helps Safeguard Against Infringement Claims. The contribution agreement asks contributors to represent that their contribution is their own work, and if they are contributing software that they did not write, contributors are asked to represent that they have informed Apereo Foundation of any relevant licenses or other restrictions on use of the software, including any applicable patents. This helps ensure that any third party incorporated into the distribution is appropriately attributed and licensed subject to terms that are compatible with the ECL.
    • Helps Safeguard Against Patent Surprises. The contribution agreement includes a license to any patents that are licensable by the contributor and would otherwise be infringed by use of the contribution. If a Sakai user were to try to assert that the use of Sakai infringes a patent they hold, they would lose the benefits of the patent license from the other contributors to Sakai.
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