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From Joe Schaefer <>
Subject Re: OpenOffice & LibreOffice
Date Sun, 05 Jun 2011 18:00:10 GMT
This isn't helpful Bill IMO.  Lotsa people have acculturated
to the FSF view of software licensing, and no amount of arguing
will change their mind.

We have to accept that some people within libreoffice will just
be completely turned off to the idea of collaborating with IBM
for the sole purpose (as they see it) of enabling a closed-source
product to be based on their work.  That is a position I'm quite
capable of respecting, despite my own view on the subject.

Most of our own ideology surrounding licensing is based on pragmatism
towards an intellectual commons that doesn't exclude closed source
participation.  It's not so much that we're fixated on the particulars
of the Apache License, it's that it's good enough to allow us to build
the types of communities we're interested in.  It's the development
communities and their dynamics that we focus on, and the license is
there to reduce the amount of friction we deal with when accepting
contributions.  Could it be improved?  Sure, but the cost of doing so
far outweighs the foreseeable benefits at this point.  That equation
will no doubt change as time goes on.

----- Original Message ----
> From: William A. Rowe Jr. <>
> To:
> Sent: Sun, June 5, 2011 1:47:28 PM
> Subject: Re: OpenOffice & LibreOffice
> In general, I'm avoiding the messages which are entirely based on the
> "one  true license"... but I think there is one interesting point to be
> raised  here...
> On 6/5/2011 3:30 AM, Keith Curtis wrote:
> > 
> > Why  "open source" advocates at IBM would stand up for the "right" of
> >  software to be made proprietary in the future makes no sense to me. I
> >  would think the job of an IBM evangelist would be to advocate
> > copyleft,  not to evangelize lax licenses using IBM's reputation. It is
> > the little  guys that get screwed by lax licenses. Convincing IBM to
> > make GPL their  official free license would be useful evangelism. Who
> > is working on  that?
> First, let me correct you, open source predates the FSF.  The  OSI has
> done a fine job of addressing the meanings in a way all open  source
> communities appreciate.  There is a specific term used by the FSF  and
> others, "Free/Libre" software.  Nobody is suggesting that any AL  work
> is ever "Free/Libre".  There is a multiplicity of Open Source  thought,
> and we won't go into detail, others have done so better than the  two
> of us can.
> With that said...
> > LibreOffice is a success,  and way ahead of you guys
> As an advocate of the one true license, I make  several assumptions;
> that you have a disdain for the Microsoft and OS/X  ports, as those
> operating systems are not Free.  You aren't particularly  keen on the
> BSD ports either, not because it is not Free, but that it does  not
> promote the cause of software freedom.  You have a goal of  having
> the best collection of software possible available on Free  Operating
> Systems, notably Linux.  Sorry for any mischaracterization,  but I
> would like to use your strong post to draw out this point;
> I see  a strong role for license advocacy from LibreOffice, and also
> expect  LibreOffice to extend OOo (with or without the ASF) in new
> and exciting  directions.  There are many developers who feel as you
> do, some possibly  who even refused to play ball with the Sun/Oracle
> copyright assignment.   LibreOffice might be expected to remain the
> premier Linux distribution of  OpenOffice, as some of the best minds
> in Linux/Gnome/KDE development believe  as you do.
> But I don't see any licensing argument for LibreOffice to even  try
> to be the preeminent Windows or OS/X port of the software, since
> by  definition improving GPL works for a closed source operating
> system is  something of an oxymoron.  Not that such a fork can't or
> shouldn't  continue!  But reactions such as your own are inevitable
> and to some  extent, an ASF project gives the LibreOffice project
> more flexibility to  focus on its core ecosystems, the Libre OS's.
> None of this is meant to be  disingenuous to any open source or
> free software people or communities, it's  just my reflections on
> how those individuals with strongly held licensing  beliefs can
> (and likely will) collaborate within and across  communities.
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