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From "Andrea Pescetti (Created) (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Created] (LEGAL-117) Aggregation of GPL dictionaries with Apache OpenOffice (incubating) binary releases
Date Sun, 04 Dec 2011 17:15:39 GMT
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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