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From "Dennis E. Hamilton (Commented) (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-117) Aggregation of GPL dictionaries with Apache OpenOffice (incubating) binary releases
Date Mon, 12 Dec 2011 16:21:30 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-117?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13167576#comment-13167576

Dennis E. Hamilton commented on LEGAL-117:

Perhaps this will clarify the situation better:

 1. When we talk about GPL dictionaries, we might be talking about dict-NL.otx that have content
under the GPL or the specific cases of NL.dic and NL.aff files that are distributed inside
a dict-NL container.  The dict-NL can contain dictionary pairs for one or more NL variants
(e.g., en-US and en-GB) accompanied by separate, optional hyphenation-rule data and thesaurus
databases.  I can't speak for Andrea, but that is something that needs to be clear for this
request.  Both cases are spoken of as dictionaires.  There is considerable comingling of licensed
material in dict-NL aggregates.  Any of the variant parts may have its own copyright and license
notices and may be under a GPL license.

 2. With regard to "Bundling of dictionary extensions would be limited to ones that allow
literal distribution without restriction and have no limitations that impact field of use
of the run-time" it is apparently better to be more specific about GPL.  In this case, we
are talking GPL2 sometimes and GPL3 other times.  (And sometimes LGPL.)  It is rare for there
to be but a single license and only GPL applicable to works within the aggregate.  What I
had in mind was anything permitting aggregation as defined in GPL3 clause 5 and permitting
conveyance without change (including via aggregation one or more levels) as defined in GPL3
clause 4.  And that the license satisfy the OSD in all other respects of course.  All use
of the artifact content by the run-time is ephemeral although caching of the writing-aid data
can be done for performance reasons.

 3. In selecting such an artifact for *bundled* distribution in a binary release, the PPMC
would want to assertain that GPL3 (or equivalent terms of GPL2) clause 5 was satisfied in
the artifact.  I suppose that is a matter for PPMC diligence, but it seems necessary to ensure
that there are clean hands in providing the artifact in accordance with (2).  This applies
to other licenses too.  I suppose this aspect falls under IP clearance for the binary release.
 None of these artifacts are produced by the PPMC and their source forms would not be in the
Apache SVN.  Where the dict-NL[.oxt] assemblages are retained for import into binary releases
as bundled dictionary extensions is not clear. 

It might be useful to examine an important single candidate to ground this further.  I think
the dict-en for English Language writing aids would be particularly interesting.  The dict-it
for Italian Language writing aids that Andrea and others have produced is useful as a contrasting
> Aggregation of GPL dictionaries with Apache OpenOffice (incubating) binary releases
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: LEGAL-117
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-117
>             Project: Legal Discuss
>          Issue Type: Question
>            Reporter: Andrea Pescetti
> Localized versions of OpenOffice.org have traditionally included dictionaries (a term
used to designate data files for writing aids in general, like spell-checking dictionaries
and thesauri) under the GPL license. These dictionaries are provided in the form of data files.
> Dictionaries are not a dependency of OpenOffice.org: they are packaged, even in the installer
for native builds, as extensions. Any Windows version of OpenOffice.org is shipped as one
file, containing separate modules for OpenOffice.org and for each linguistic extension (i.e.,
the dictionaries).
> This is possible because OpenOffice.org dictionaries, as confirmed by the Free Software
Foundation in 2007 https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=65039 fall in the "mere aggregation"
provision of the GPL license http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#MereAggregation
> The only remaining issue to be able to include GPL dictionaries in Apache OpenOffice
is thus the Apache policy http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html which forbids GPL software
from being included in Apache projects; but the rationale for this choice http://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html
clearly states that "This licensing incompatibility applies only when some Apache project
software becomes a derivative work of some GPLv3 software", definitely not the case under
> In light of the above, can Apache OpenOffice include GPL spell-checking dictionaries
with its binary releases? 

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