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From Greg Stein <gst...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: OpenOffice.org Apache Incubator Proposal: Splitting the Community?
Date Fri, 03 Jun 2011 19:10:20 GMT
On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 14:30, Allen Pulsifer <pulsifer@openoffice.org> wrote:
>>>>  Which is why I raised the question regarding TDF's ability to
>>>> relicense all of the contributions it has received.
>>>
>>> As I understand it Noel, TDF accepts contributions under open source
>>> licenses alone and unlike ASF does not require a contributor license
>>> agreement, so is unable to relicense the last 8 months of work under
>>> any license incompatible with the ones used by those contributions.
>
>> Unable is a strong word.  I given that we are talking about historically
>> recent contributions,
>> I would think that it would be possible to identify and reach out to those
>> who made these
>> contributions.  These people, after all, DO hold the copyrights.
>
> In fact, as I pointed out earlier, about 75% to 90% of the LIbreOffice
> contributions have been made by the employees of a handful of companies,
> primarily Linux distributors such as Novell, Red Hat and Canonical.  So in
> fact, if those companies decided to join in an Apache Licensed effort, this
> issue would be largely addressed.

That is actually quite an interesting point. If the work contributed
to the TDF was done under "work for hire" rules, then those companies
could contribute the same work to the ASF with a simple Software Grant
stating something like "all commits to the TDF performed by $PERSON
between $START and $END". There are certainly issues between the
employee/employer on whether that is even possible (eg. in some
jurisdictions, employees own the work they did at home, on their own
hardware). ... could be messy, but some contributions may be possible.

And yes, I *do* recognize that the employees might be quite upset at
their employer in some cases. Not trying to diminish the personal vs
corporate aspects here.

But a great thought...

Cheers,
-g

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