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From "Michael Tobias" <>
Subject RE: [CODEC] Beider Morse Phonetic Matching Bug and questions
Date Wed, 11 Jun 2014 12:24:05 GMT
I am a newbie here and am unable to offer any views on the significance of the license situation,
but it was the intention of Steve Morse and Alexander Beider to offer their algorithm to the
wider developer world and so I am not sure why they would not be willing to re-licence the
code to the Apache Software Foundation.

I am in contact with both guys having worked with them for many years so if you point me to
any relevant Apache Software Foundation License documentation and explain exactly what is
needed I will be happy to send it to them, discuss with them, and hopefully get this sorted
as quickly as possible.


-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Neidhart [] 
Sent: 11 June 2014 12:56
To: Commons Developers List
Subject: Re: [CODEC] Beider Morse Phonetic Matching Bug and questions


as already commented on the problem is related
to some wrongly ported rule files from the original source.

This otoh, creates a serious problem for us, as it looks like that the Beider-Morse phonetic
matching encoder in commons-codec is derived work from a php codebase released under the GPLv3
The original codebase is available at
While investigating the bug and comparing our rule file with the ones from the origina codebase
it is quite clear that at least these are identical.

The author of the patch (see
ported the code and applied the Apache license, but the license of the original codebase was
never considered or discussed.

This is quite serious I guess, as we have already released the code. We can ask the original
authors to re-license their code to the Apache Software Foundation under a compatible license,
but I wonder if they are willing to do so.
This encoder is also used a lot in lucene/solr so it might have even larger implications.

Any ideas how to proceed or if a re-licensing would be sufficient in this case?


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