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From Mark Struberg <strub...@yahoo.de>
Subject Re: InfoWorld article on LibreOffice and OpenOffice
Date Fri, 28 Aug 2015 06:19:28 GMT

Txs Dennis for the detailed explanation. Especially for explaining the community parts which
explain a lot of the animosities between the communities.

Just one last thing left to point out imo (moving the community aspects aside and strictly
focusing on legal): 

> <orcmid> The contributors to LibreOffice have been declaring their contributions
are made under dual MPL+LGPL licenses.  I don't know if they still require the dual grant
from new committers, I don't follow the developer lists.  In either case, those contributions
are not available to AOO under any theory or ASF policy [;<)
> </orcmid>


The ‚problem‘ I see is that very often they also contribute/commit changes which are strictly
seen ALv2. Even if the contributor and LO folks think they use MPL+LGPL as license for the
contribution.
 
That is by the barrier of new invention which is used to constitute ‚own work‘. If they
just change the ALv2 licensed code parts in a minor way, then the code parts still remain
ALv2. Just reformatting or fixing a nullpointer doesn’t constitute own IP.
Only if they add new code or change the existing code in an impacting way they could say that
those code parts are not ALv2 but MPL+LGPL.

Thus strictly speaking LO committers imo often not only contribute MPL+LGPL licensed code
but also ALv2 code parts.
I don’t expect that a casual committer is aware of this though.

This is obviously the same if WE import code parts with another license to an ASF project.

LieGrue,
strub



> Am 12.08.2015 um 18:17 schrieb Dennis E. Hamilton <dennis.hamilton@acm.org>:
> 
> Responding directly to Mark's questions, below,
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Struberg [mailto:struberg@yahoo.de] 
> Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 02:12
> To: legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: Re: InfoWorld article on LibreOffice and OpenOffice
> 
> [ ... ]
> 
> [1] of course they did lots of work in the last 2 years and this new work is ALv2/MPL
mixed, or only MPL? How can a contributor know?
> 
> <orcmid> The contributors to LibreOffice have been declaring their contributions
are made under dual MPL+LGPL licenses.  I don't know if they still require the dual grant
from new committers, I don't follow the developer lists.  In either case, those contributions
are not available to AOO under any theory or ASF policy [;<)
> </orcmid>
> 
> [2] Please help me understand this: this is not a dual-licensed code but a ‚mixed‘
code. How does this work in practice when it comes to contributions?
> 
> <orcmid>
> Correct.  The TDF has chosen to envelop the source code as MPL and not exercise the LGPL
licensing.  Of course, the ALv2 code that survives in that code base is still ALv2 code, although
it might be difficult to audit for that and determine the provenance of much except by having
a clone of the repository and checking the change history of individual files or subsections
of the code tree.
> </orcmid>
> 
> [3] The way I know how to handle such situations is to comment code blocks which are
taken from a differently licensed base. But LO didn’t do that.
> 
> <orcmid>
> Yes, that does not seem to be the practice.  It is not unusual that such details are
left for others to figure out.  I don't believe that the myth of "relicensing" code applies
here, but one never knows for certain.  The practice that Mark follows is laudible, as are
contributing modifications, especially fixes, to third party code back upstream.
> 
> (There are some significant changes to the plumbing of LibreOffice that makes some of
this non-trivial, yet there are still significant blocks of code that are the same.)
> </orcmid>
> 
> 
> [ ... ]
> 
> 
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