[Libreoffice] LibreOffice licensing

Marc Paré marc at marcpare.com
Sat Jun 4 12:35:05 PDT 2011

Le 2011-06-04 12:11, Michael Meeks a écrit :
> On Sat, 2011-06-04 at 08:48 -0400, Allen Pulsifer wrote:
>> 1. TDF takes OOo under the Apache License and combines it with LO
>> contributions under the LGPL/MPL and licenses the combined work
>> (LibreOffice) under both the LGPL and MPL?
> 	So if we say MPLv2 and LGPLv3+ - that is fine; and the resulting code
> would be under those (compatible) licenses. Which are copy-left.
>> 2. A third party takes OOo under the Apache License and combines it with LO
>> contributions under the MPL and proprietary closed-source code of its own to
>> create a proprietary closed-source product?
> 	If they have changed the MPL code modules - they need to release those
> changes; otherwise (since the MPL is a weak-copy-left) they can not
> release other changes (like extensions) they bundle - obviously.
>> That would not however stop third parties from combining the
>> Apache OpenOffice code with LibreOffice code and doing with that whatever
>> both licenses allowed.
> 	Sure - one example is IBM, they have a load of MPL code, and even LGPL
> code in Lotus Symphony. Amusingly, IBM are far more pragmatic in
> practise than ASF is - one of the tragic ironies of the situation.
> 	HTH,
> 		Michael.

I am not sure how much this would complicate it, but on Groklaw[1]:


     Oracle is signing a SGA (Software Grant Agreement) giving the 
OpenOffice.org code to Apache Server Foundation (ASF) under the Apache 
2.0 license. As you know, Oracle (via Sun) had ownership of the code via 
the CLA that they required from contributors. Oracle is also giving ASF 
the OpenOffice.org trademark, the logo with the birds, and the 
openoffice.org domain name.

     Some of this has happened already, some of it is in progress.

     Oracle appears to be retaining the copyright, not assigning it to 

The bottom line, then, if this is so, is that Oracle owns the code it is 
donating, thanks to a contribution agreement whereby contributors handed 
over copyright to Sun, now Oracle. And by retaining the copyright, it 
continues to own the code. Let this be an object lesson, that any time a 
project asks for all the copyrights, it can do what it pleases with your 
contributions. If you don't care, contribute as much as you wish. But do 
it knowing that it's like putting your baby up for adoption. You are not 
the parent any more afterward, so you don't get a say in anything.


This seems to be muddying up the waters even more.



[1] http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2011060314010442

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