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

Michael Meeks michael.meeks at novell.com
Fri Nov 26 02:43:18 PST 2010

Hi Wols,

On Fri, 2010-11-26 at 00:23 +0000, Wols Lists wrote:
> With no place for people who make MAJOR alterations to the file to add
> their own copyright ... :-)

	Endless licensing discussions tend to be really poisonous, I would
really appreciate concluding this one promptly.

> That just doesn't feel quite right to me. Oh well.

	Well; everyone owns their copyright - no-one can take that away,
whether it is stated or not is moot, and there is the Contributors: line
to give adequate credit to major contributors. Please compare with the
existing Sun header with the SHOUT TEXT at top and no proper
crediting :-)

> Couple of other points - reading COPYING.NEWFILES it comes over as the
> main licence is MPL1.1

	Well; we copied the mozilla license header, and shortened it a bit to
make it less verbose. The LGPLv3 is clearly mentioned both at the top,
and at the bottom - the MPL1.1 license explicitly mentions alternative
licenses, and the recommended form of text for the header so ... this is
why it is like it is.

> yet there's no COPYING.MPL file. Should that be added ?

	Sure, please do; if it makes you feel better please add some blurb at
the top to stress that the license only applies to small parts of the
code, and that the real license is LGPLv3.

>  Plus I get the impression the main licence is meant to be LGPL :-)

	Again; cf. above - of course the main license is LGPLv3 - but lets not
get into what is essentially marketing in our tedious license

> Personally, I also find putting the licence in the COPYING file a bit
> weird, but lilypond does exactly the same, so I guess that's normal
> practice :-)

	All autotools projects, the majority of a GNU/Linux system, do this by

> And I didn't know about COPYING.NEWFILES until you pointed me at it
> (yes, I know, I should have done a top level ls and investigated :-) but
> there's nothing I can see to say that it's meant to be used for new
> files ... given that COPYING files contain licence text, it doesn't
> compute that COPYING.NEWFILES contains a template licence grant :-)

	So - lets work out a new name for it. We should also move that stuff
into bootstrap/ I think since that is the new toplevel.

> Should I try and codify it as a copyright section on
> http://www.documentfoundation.org/develop/ and in a HACKING file, or
> would you rather I just went away and left this topic alone? (I don't
> want to dive into something that is bound to be contentious without some
> backing by others, but this is an itch I'd happily scratch :-).

	http://lwn.net/Articles/370157/ cf. points 5. and 8. :-)

	Anyhow - there is some merit in writing something clearer about this;
please can you write it up, and mail it to me; and we'll get the tech
steering group to review / edit / approve it.



 michael.meeks at novell.com  <><, Pseudo Engineer, itinerant idiot

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