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From Phillip Rhodes <>
Subject Re: Commerce and open-soure (Was) Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice
Date Mon, 06 Jun 2011 17:53:54 GMT
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 1:43 PM, Benson Margulies <>wrote:

> The expression 'land-grab' in here bothers me.
> I understand (if not agree with) the 'deep philosophy justification'
> of the FSF for a particular licensing strategy.
> I understand the views of individuals who don't want to benefit
> corporations without extracting, at least, some token cooperation in
> return.
> I don't understand the analogy in which code is 'land' which can be
> 'grabbed'. If a corporation takes ALv2 licensed code and uses it to
> launch some close-source thing, the code isn't used up. It's still
> there where anyone else can use it for anything else.

Thanks for saying that... I was thinking about making a similar post, but
hadn't quite found time to
figure out exactly how to express it.

I realize some people interacting in this current discussion may not be
long-time participants in ASF
projects, and / or may be FSF / Free software ideologues... but I think it's
important to realize that the
ASF is not the FSF and that the Apache License is written the way it is for
a reason, and that it reflects
the ideals of the ASF community.  Here, as far as I can tell, it is
completely acceptable for an entity
(corporation or otherwise) to take Apache licensed code, put it into a
proprietary app, and benefit from
it commercially.   Yes, the community most likely finds it *desirable* for
such an entity to contribute
back in kind, but it's not required.  And here, that's just a normal "par
for the course" part of the way things

In short, complaining about what IBM, or any other commercial entity, plans
to do with the OOo code, and
spending all this energy worrying about IBM's strategy, and criticizing IBM,
is not helping this process.

The goal here is to get the code into the incubator, and have a healthy,
vibrant community emerge that can run
a viable project according to the Apache way.  A lot of this discussion
strikes me as tangential (at best) to that.

None of this is meant to disparage TDF, LibreOffice, or Free/Libre
software... but the issues about commercialization
of the code that might be crucial in some orgs, are not (as) relevant here.
  A healthy, vibrant project is relevant... if
IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, or Enron decide to use the code for a
commercial project, then so be it.

All of this is "IMO" of course.


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