[Libreoffice] Are ISC/BSD-licensed contributions acceptable?

Gioele Barabucci gioele at svario.it
Mon Nov 22 07:36:59 PST 2010

Michael Meeks 22/11/2010 12:10:
> 	Well - as I say; there are problems with lots of scattered licenses. In
> particular, people can do this to get their personal name / credit into
> the LICENSES file, which then grows substantially, requires more
> maintenance, and gives extra credit to those who chose this route etc.
> (?) :-)

Actually, I think that those names are going to end up in many similar 
places anyway. :)

Currently the LibO code base is quite liberal wrt copyright statements 
and tracing code authors. For example, copyright years and other little 
(?) details are way out-of-date. Some projects require script like 
<http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/copyright.html> to be run after each 
commit to check that copyright statements have been updated correctly. I 
think LibO should take a similar approach, also to save itself from 
inevitable future license FUD.

(A little side note: the current layout of the license text makes it 
very hard to extend the copyright statement after the first year of 

>> So, the question is: are ISC/BSD-licensed contributions acceptable?
> 	In the abstract, yes - I have no problem. Concretely though - are you
> really trying to give people extra freedoms to the code ? or is there
> some other aim ?

My aim is to make my code easy to share. I think the three-line ISC 
license is, in most cases, the best license to accomplish that.

> 	If you want others to be able to get that code under a more liberal
> licensing; embedding a link to your site in the XSLT where it can be
> obtained under different terms might be a simpler way - while leaving
> this copy under the LGPLv3+/MPL. If you're concerned about web-hosting,
> we could host it for you somewhere permanant perhaps.

What about adding a text such as the following after the license header 
(as suggested by the SFLC)?

* This file incorporates work covered by the following copyright and
* permission notice:
*     Copyright (c) YEARS_LIST, Permissive Contributor1
*     Copyright (c) YEARS_LIST, Permissive Contributor2
*     Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software
*     for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided
*     that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear
*     in all copies.

In this way it the whole file would be MIT1.1/GPLv3/LGPLv3 + the 
original contribution (the first commit) would be ISC licensed.

This would spare everybody from setting up hosting facilities that may 
pose maintenance problems in the future.

Anyway, in this very case, for such a little contribution, I do not mind 
releasing it as MPL1.1/GPLv3/LGPLv3. The purpose of this email is just 
to "create a precedent" for a problem that is going to be faced sooner 
or later.


PS: Isn't there a libreoffice-legal mailing list?

Gioele Barabucci <gioele at svario.it>

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