[Libreoffice] FYI: Latest Oracle move wrt to OpenOffice.org

BRM bm_witness at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 1 13:23:57 PDT 2011

----- Original Message ----

> From: Norbert Thiebaud <nthiebaud at gmail.com>
> To: BRM <bm_witness at yahoo.com>
> Cc: libreoffice at lists.freedesktop.org
> Sent: Wed, June 1, 2011 4:07:23 PM
> Subject: Re: [Libreoffice] FYI: Latest Oracle move wrt to OpenOffice.org
> On Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 2:37 PM, BRM <bm_witness at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >  ---- Original Message ----
> >
> >> From: Norbert Thiebaud <nthiebaud at gmail.com>
> >> Oracle   announce:
> >>
> >>m
> >>
> >>  IBM  is very happy to be able to continue Symphony without having  to
> >> give code  back... (they seems to rejoyce at being able to do  selective
> >> GPL: i.e what is  yours is mine... but what is mine is  yours only for
> >> the peice I don't care  about and would like you to  maintain   instead):
> >>t
> >>  "The  new project at Apache strengthens IBM's ability to continue  to
> >> offer our own  distributions of productivity tools based on  the
> >> OpenOffice code base and  make our own contributions to  reinforce the
> >> overall community. "
> >>
> >
> > FYI -  LGPL/GPL does not _require_ that code be contributed back to the
> >  _community_. Projects work best when that happens, but that is not a
> >  requirement.
> > The _requirement_ is that the code be accessible to those  that the project 
> > being distributed to - e.g. end-users.
> And with  Apache License that requirement is gone...

WRT OOo, never said it was there. just correcting the mistaken belief that GPL 
always means sharing code with everyone - it doesn't.
A belief all too common in the GPL world.
> From: Michael Meeks <michael.meeks at novell.com>
>     True - on the other hand, if millions of  people have the right to get
> the source code (a mass market product). If a  copy-left license is used
> - it means the cheapest way to do that is to  provide the source to
> everyone. If no (C) assignment is required, then those  changes can
> trivially be merged, of course that is the LibreOffice  structure.

As I said, projects work best when code is contributed back.
That said, there are many successful projects that are not GPL or LGPL that 
don't have that requirement with very flourishing communities - many lead by 

> >> From: Norbert Thiebaud <nthiebaud at gmail.com>
> > In the case of  IBM, a user of Symphony would have been able to ask for the 
> > and IBM  would have had to provide it per LGPL/GPL if that were the license.
> > It  does not mean that IBM would have had to contribute back to LibreOffice,
> >  OpenOffice, or anyone else.
> But that is _not_ the license, and with  Apache License they would not
> have to make it available at ALL to anybody...  just as is the case
> with their proprietary OO fork today.
> Hence the  Enthusiastic blog campaign that flourished from IBMers in
> the minutes/hours  following the public announcement of Oracle's intend
> to dump OpenOffice.org in Apache's  lap.
> But that's fine, IBM is free to conduct their business they way  they
> want, as long as there is no doubt in anybody's mind that that  latest
> Oracle' move has nothing to do with 'unifying/strengthening  the
> 'community', but everything to do with Oracle's contractual  obligation
> to IBM and IBM desire to continue their proprietary  fork.
> "OpenOffice.org version 1.1.4 was dual licensed under both the  GNU
> Lesser General Public License and Sun's own SISSL, which allowed  for
> entities to change the code without releasing their  changes.
> Therefore, IBM does not have to release the source code of  Symphony."
> source:  http://ibm-lotus-symphony.software.informer.com/wiki/
> If anybody in  unconvinced why copyright assignment or  Apache-like
> full-copyright-license-no-string-attached are evil the quote  above
> should settle  that.

And there are useful benefits to both approaches. Personally I am typically more 
likely to go GPL;
that said, I am getting ready to spear head a small project - to be added to a 
major project - that will need to be able to
allow the major project to do something similar - they have a dual licensing 
system, with both commercial and GPL licenses,
and my employer makes use of the commercial license. We generally do not modify 
the that project, so nothing to contribute back normally any how, but
the commercial license lets us build our (proprietary) products on top of that 
major project, and my little project will be very useful to me at work - a major 
improvement over what is currently provided.

Just saying, there's more than one way to skin the cat (as the old saying goes), 
and there are multiple reason for choosing difference licensing methods,
many of which are very valid reasons - not all of which lead to GPL/LGPL.


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