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From Andrea Pescetti <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Inappropriate "Compliance Costs"
Date Mon, 23 Feb 2015 00:15:12 GMT
On 02/02/2015 Andrea Pescetti wrote:
> I'll propose a rewrite

And here we are. It is not the way I would have written it, but it seems 
a reasonable way to fulfill what I believe to be part of the OpenOffice 
mission (whatever people think): educating users to basic concepts about 
free, open source software and licenses.

This is the proposed new version of
meant to will preserve SEO value and informative value, but (hopefully) 
in a more neutral tone.

Wordings and minor mistakes can always be improved; what I'd like to 
know is if this version can be OK in general. We won't necessarily end 
with an agreement of course, but it still believe it's worth a try, 
since we can't give up part of the de-facto OpenOffice mission.
##The Apache OpenOffice Compliance Advantages

As you probably already know, you don't own software in the same way
you own a chair or a desk.  Instead, you license the software from
the publisher; this gives you permission to use the software, but
only under terms specified by the license.

In the case of Apache OpenOffice, this license is the
[Apache Software License 2.0][1], a free and open source software
license. Like other open source licenses, the Apache License explicitly
allows you to copy and redistribute the covered product, without any
license fees or royalties.

The Apache License is a permissive license: companies and individual
developers who create derivative products of OpenOffice can do so
free of any constraints on the license to apply to the derivative
product they release.

This makes OpenOffice an excellent choice for users and developers who
want to avoid compliance woes and related risks and costs.

##For Users: Reduced Software License Compliance Costs

In the case of commercial software, the licensing terms typically say
how many users or PC's may access the software.  The terms might even
include a clause allowing the vendor to audit your usage of the

In order to avoid the expense and penalties of an audit from the
Business Software Alliance (BSA), including those originated by
employees turning in their employer for software piracy, organizations
are increasingly adopting Software Asset Management (SAM) practices to
ensure that their use of commercial software complies with the
applicable licenses.  These practices generally include employee
education along with the purchase of software to track licenses and
software use within the organization.

The combined cost of these SAM practices is the "cost of compliance"
for using commercial proprietary software products.  It is an expense
that does not make your organization more productive.  It is purely risk
mitigation. Along with license, maintenance and training costs, it is
one of the expenses of using commercial software.

Open source software like Apache OpenOffice, instead, comes with a
license that explicitly permits free redistribution.  This reduces
the cost of compliance for many organizations, since tracking
application usage is not needed.

##For Developers: Reduced Constraints on Derivative Products

The permissive nature of the Apache License means that developers and
companies distributing derivative products needn't worry about
combining their code with the OpenOffice code and releasing derivative
products under their license of choice.

Unlike other open source licenses (the so-called "copyleft" licenses),
the Apache License has no viral effects, i.e., it does not influence
the license of the derivative product.

Copyleft licenses, namely the GNU GPL, are enforced through specific
actions by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and the Free Software
Foundation (FSF): an ascertained violation due to inclusion of copyleft
code in a proprietary product results in the obligation to make the
entire product source code available to the public. The Apache License
avoids this risk and the associated needs for more employee education
and more internal audits.


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