[Libreoffice] LibreOffice licensing
bm_witness at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 6 07:39:14 PDT 2011
----- Original Message ----
> From: Jesús Corrius <jesus at softcatala.org>
> To: michael.meeks at novell.com
> Hi Michael,
> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 6:11 PM, Michael Meeks <michael.meeks at novell.com>
> > 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
> > would be under those (compatible) licenses. Which are copy-left.
> >> 2. A third party takes OOo under the Apache License and combines it with
> >> contributions under the MPL and proprietary closed-source code of its own
> >> create a proprietary closed-source product?
> > If they have changed the MPL code modules - they need to release
> > 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
> > code in Lotus Symphony. Amusingly, IBM are far more pragmatic in
> > practise than ASF is - one of the tragic ironies of the situation.
> I guess it would be useful to create a wiki page with a FAQ about
> these license topics :)
Just remember, that even with LGPL/GPL the changes _do not have to be
contributed back to the community_; only made available to the customers of that
product upon request (per LGPL, GPL and MPL).
IOW, TDF may not necessarily get the contribution. It's just like any downstream
project - they can modify it and don't necessarily have to contribute those
modifications back to the upstream project.
Sure, it works best when they do as everyone benefits, but they are not
_required_ to do so.
I only mention this, as it is often overlooked - and in comments like the above
- by Meeks and others - they seem to forget that aspect about Copy-Left,
So yes, someone could take LO code directly, make a downstream, proprietary
product and sell it - and they only have to make the code to that proprietary
version (whether it is identical to the LO version or modified) to those who
have purchased their proprietary product. (MPL says for 12 months; FSF
recommends per GPL/LGPL 3 years).
My point being that Allen is 100% correct, and copy-left does not prevent the
situation you all seem to be so concerned about. Remember, Copy-Left is about
the End-User, not the Developer.
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