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

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-117?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13177763#comment-13177763

Pedro Giffuni commented on LEGAL-117:

 @Andrea and @Sam concerning LPPL.
I think the LPPL is not completely untied to this discussion: GPL and LPPL are both restricted
and in a certain sense it would seem like accepting the GPL would also open the doors to accepting
other GPL'd content (images, icons, fonts) or other restricted licenses like the LPPL. Unfortunately
the FSF Foundation declared LPPL incompatible with the GPL and this causes some inconsistencies.
If we accept the GPL here we would be imposing a restriction on third parties: they (and we)
can't redistribute the LPPL'd hyphenation "code".

I see some similarity here to what happened with PostgreSQL on Debian: some Debian purists
complained about pgsql (BSD) using GNU readline (GPL) along with the GPL-incompatible OpenSSL
(with an advertisement clause),.

Now, a perhaps bigger issue here is that it is unclear to me if the FSF has a double standard
with respect to applying the GPL to non-code. In the case of fonts the FSF says this:

"The GNU GPL can be used for fonts. However, note that it does not permit embedding the font
in a document unless that document is also licensed under the GPL."

The reason for this appears to be that they consider fonts can contain embedded software.
Perhaps the hyphenation rules can also be considered software?

Of course there's also the issue of what is "Mere Aggregation": if I use the dictionary to
clean the language in a document I am writing that may be OK, unless that document is actually
a dictionary.

These are purely theoretical issues, I think the GPL is unsuitable for non-code and in practice
I doubt it is enforceable in this case but I guess I will entertain my self finding out if
lawyers consider these to be "risks". 

> 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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