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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: Legal question about (re)licensing
Date Sun, 29 Apr 2012 17:41:19 GMT

I am not certain what this has to do with the original question.

In any case, I agree that copyleft projects tend to be rather casual.  (The complaining about
the AOO use of ALv2 for the work it makes for LO downstream is informative, although LO has
dependencies on a number of ALv2 components.)  I am also uncertain whether GPL requirements
on derivatives, especially their binaries, are followed in an impeccable way among the many
copyleft projects.

The closest to a CLA for TDF LibreOffice is an e-mail paragraph such as this one:

    " All of my past & future contributions to LibreOffice 
      may be licensed under the MPL/LGPLv3+ dual license."

I have no idea how the TDF deals with provenance.  None of us do anything to confirm that
a contribution is original (in the copyright sense) and the contributor has the right.  Acceptance
is in good faith.  Still, TDF had the good fortune of starting with a distribution that was
already LGPLd and the third-party dependencies were already accounted for by Sun and Oracle.
Since I stay clear of [L]GPLd code myself, I have nothing more to say about that.  (I do remain
concerned about the haphazard license materials in the Writing Aids that are bundled with
AOO binaries.  Fortunately, it appears that AOO is not directly accountable for the provenance
of those materials.)

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Weir [] 
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2012 09:08
Subject: Re: Legal question about (re)licensing

On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<> wrote:
> To be precise, the practice is for new contributions to be dual licensed as LGPL and
MPL by the contributor.  It remains the case that the main code body is under LGPL3 with the
usual variations for third-party material incorporated in the release.

But the "practice" is not backed by a CLA or a code audit.  So what
exactly LO has is "license soup" as far as I am concerned.  I can't
touch it, though corporations that have no proprietary software
business may be unconcerned about such hygiene issues.  But I'd note
that such an approach will limit the project's success, since large
corporations, even if just using open source software, have their own
risk calculus to consider.   So the work we do on code pedigree audits
benefits not just the big bad software vendors. But it also benefits


>  - Dennis
> PS: Personally, I don't see any advantage to the MPL provision, since LGPL is not convertible
to MPL.  I think there is or was some TDF misunderstanding about the possibility of "relicensing."
 As far as I know, only the owner of copyright has a choice about licensing.  E.g., Oracle
licensed the code base that was under its copyright to Apache in a different
way than it had licensed to others.  That's separate from the general but narrow availability
of that code under the LGPL from both Sun and Oracle.
>    The license that code arrives into someone's hands under is the license that must
be honored, even for public-domain works (which require no license and will remain public-domain
forever). If a work is specifically multi-licensed, one can choose which one(s) to honor.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rob Weir []
> Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2012 08:12
> To:
> Subject: Re: Legal question about (re)licensing
> On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 10:58 AM, Claudio Filho <> wrote:
>> Hi
>> I am not a lawer but i did a work of licenses some time ago[1], and i
>> read many of main licenses, and a thing that i listened in all was
>> that only the license holder can changes his work. So, my ask is:
>> Oracle gave permission to TDF to add GPL and MPL for LibO?
>> [1]
> When LO says they are under MPL, I think they mean that only for new
> contributions, where the contributor agreed to place their
> contribution under MPL (or whatever).  The remainder of the code, the
> original OOo code, is under LGPL.
> -Rob
>> Or this is a "dead letter", where i can get a software and do what i think/wish?
>> Best,
>> Claudio

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