ASF license violation

I found out that my county is publicly distributing tax software which includes ASF software (FOP, xalan, xerces, logj4).

This is very good news, but…they forgot to include the required license. There’s no mention of the ASF nor any license file in the software or in its documentation.

As it’s tax time around here, they already have distributed many copies. And as I’m slow about taxes I haven’t noticed it before.

I have contacted them informally about it and promptly got a call from the company who developed the software. Looks like my message has gone very quickly through the hierarchy there.

The person with whom I talked says they recognize the problem and are willing to include the license in new releases of their software (notice in the about box + license.txt along the installed jar files).

I’m going to ask (on community@) what to do about it, what kind of compensation we should expect for the license violation. I don’t think legal action or money makes sense, but it would be fair, for example, to include a notice and link to the ASF on the web site where the software can be found, to make some free publicity for the ASF as a compensation.

This shows that many people are ignorant about Open-Source licenses and their obligations about them. In this case I guess people simply confused Open-Source with “free for all”.

Now, am I going to be able to get some actual work done today?

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