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From Norbert Thiebaud <>
Subject Upstream/Downstream (was OpenOffice & LibreOffice)
Date Wed, 08 Jun 2011 04:51:45 GMT
On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 9:43 PM, Noel J. Bergman <> wrote:

[...] their downstream code cannot be used.  Hence, the best outcome
under the current licensing regime is for all core development to be
done here, and for TDF to be a downstream consumer.

Just because you choose a particular license that does not make you
de-facto 'upstream'.
Let assume that in a parallel universe you happened to put your and on
a full Linux snapshot relicensed under ALv2.
Do you really think that you can then proclaim yourself 'upstream' of
Linux and start telling Linus, Greg, Alan and other: hey guys... since
we don't want to^H^H^Hcan't  take you patches, from now on _we_ get to
run the show... but don't worry, you can still translate
/Documentation and write user-space code... or you can come work for
me, under _my_ terms... your 'choice'.

And of course make that bold statement even before you read the code,
figure out how to build it or even figure out what you want to try to
do with it and how....
How do you think that would fly ?

let me push that a bit further, to illustrate how ludicrous and
fallacious that license argument for upstream is. Let's say I have few
millions to spare and I outbid IBM to buy OOo from Oracle... then I
license the whole thing under a 'you can do what ever-you-want license
without attribution', but I demand that to accept any code back, you
have to assign copyright to me and renounce any right on the code you
contribute, including any 'attribution'... in these conditions the
code could flow from me to Apache, but not the other way around. Does
that make me 'upstream' ?

Furthermore, you got to choose: either you make car-part of you make a
car... but you can't do both and expect other cars to be built upon
your parts... unless you presume that every other car manufacturer
should happily and gratefully turn into a neighborhood custom-shop.
not to mention that is is much harder to stay objective with the
design decisions of parts -  to make them generally useful -  when you
have a specific car in mind... and that doesn't even require malice or
ill-intent.. it is a normal drift... If you build speedometer with the
US market in mind, because that is where the car you're making is
going to be sold, you may have the tendency to optimize things for
mph... and not even consider kph...

In short, sure the license is a problem for me, but if Apache provide
good parts, I'll have no qualm using them, and if I do  and if  I can
be useful, I'd probably also set my licensing view aside punctually
for pragmatical reason and send patches on the other side of the
But right now the main turn-off is the arrogance of all these would-be
'upstreamers', based on no other basis or 'merit' than the fact that
IBM chose them to dump 8+ millions line of C++ (and 2000+ makefile
that need OOo-customized GPLed-program to build... but that's another

In these circumstance, I'm moving to Missouri ( )


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