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From "Lawrence Rosen (Commented) (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-117) Aggregation of GPL dictionaries with Apache OpenOffice (incubating) binary releases
Date Fri, 09 Dec 2011 22:54:41 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-117?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13166636#comment-13166636
] 

Lawrence Rosen commented on LEGAL-117:
--------------------------------------

Another data point you might want to add to the evaluation of LEGAL-117 and the broader issues
of GPL compatibility with Apache software:

At a conference earlier this week, I learned from an open source counsel at a large open source
company that this entire issue of GPL dictionaries as "derivative works" had been considered
by him also for his company's important products. Apparently lots of us express the same concerns
and resolve ourselves to live with the GPL regardless of what the FSF FAQ literally says.
[I won't reveal the name of the attorney who shared this tidbit, but I will say that his company
is a very well known contributor to Apache; several of its employees are members here. And
no, it is not the same company for whom I wrote such a formal legal opinion recently.] 

So perhaps we should resolve ourselves to listen also to others outside Apache who have analyzed
the legal and cultural aspects of this question. Ask your own attorneys and company executives
what they think we should do to take advantage of GPL software without "contaminating" our
own Apache License 2.0 software.

I agree with Sam that we should leave this issue open over the upcoming holidays and we should
encourage anyone with a serious opinion to participate in the discussion on LEGAL-117.

/Larry


                
> 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
discussion.
> In light of the above, can Apache OpenOffice include GPL spell-checking dictionaries
with its binary releases? 

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