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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: LibreOffice relicensing efforts
Date Thu, 24 May 2012 04:47:33 GMT
Rob makes some important points.  Here's my analysis based on that:

 1. Oracle did not put anything under the ALv2 with its Software Grant Agreement.  It granted
the ASF a nonexclusive license (and to none others that we are aware of), to use the identified
code in a particular way, including licensing to others (or not).  [The Lotus Symphony software
grant from IBM is on the same basis.]

 2. The licensed code that the ASF (via the Apache OpenOffice podling) makes available under
the ALv2 consists of those digital artifacts that bear the ALv2 license notice in the Apache
OpenOffice SVN repository, in the source-code release tar-balls, and elsewhere.  This is allowed
under the license conditions of the applicable SGA.

 3. It is that ALv2-licensed, and only that ALv2-licensed code that downstream users can create
derivatives of under the provisions of the ALv2 and with any appropriately-added licensing
for their contribution to the derivative and/or its combining, such as the MPL.  (There is
no relicensing in this scenario.  That is a misnomer.  It would be good to stop using the
term because it suggests liberties that are not necessarily provided for under an open-source
license such as the ALv2.)

 4. While the ALv2 code will assist the TDF in rebasing LibreOffice into MPL-licensed code,
source code under the MPL (or MPL dual with LGPL) license cannot be brought upstream for use
in Apache OpenOffice.  That's an ASF constraint on license-compatibility of third-party code
derived/combined into source code distributed by Apache projects.

 5. It seems to me that making as much available under the Alv2 that can be preserved from
the CWS collection is a good thing to do insofar that it makes sense for the Apache OpenOffice
project to bring that material into AOO custody and maintenance and with ALv2 licensing. 
It makes the result of that work widely available and usable in ALv2-based undertakings. 
There's a public benefit.  

 6. Nevertheless, downstream rebasing under MPL is of no direct benefit, cooperatively or
otherwise, to the Apache OpenOffice project.  There's no problem with that happening -- forking
is a feature.  But all of the benefits of that are downstream, just as they are if LibreOffice
remains LGPL in total.  And cooperative efforts are just as possible (and no more so) either
way.  And it is part of the ASF operation in the public interest that there is no problem
with this, I say.

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Weir [] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 19:31
Subject: Re: LibreOffice relicensing efforts

On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 9:43 AM, Shane Curcuru <> wrote:
> In case folks haven't seen this:
> Which points to:
> So it looks like there will be plenty of code sharing! 8->

It seems to be based on an interesting theory about what an SGA
actually does.  It seems to assume that the SGA itself puts the code
under the Apache License.  But does it?   Take a look at the actually
text:  I don't see
anything where it states that the grantor gives the files to the ASF
under ALv2.  But it does give the ASF a broader bucket of permissions,
including the right to sublicense.

My impression I think the ALv2 is attached during the IP review
process in the Podling, as we review the code, as Oracle (via Andrew)
changed the LGPL headers to Apache headers, and ultimately when the
IPMC voted to approve the AOO 3.4 release.

Ultimately, basing a LO license rebasing on a pre-IP review,
pre-release version of AOO is not recommended.  We all know what types
of issues we ran into and had to clean up.  The released code is in
much better, in terms of straightening out the licenses.

> - Shane

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