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From Greg Stein <>
Subject Re: Commerce and open-soure (Was) Proposal to join Apache OpenOffice
Date Mon, 06 Jun 2011 18:13:37 GMT
Good one :-)

On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 14:11, Donald Whytock <> wrote:
> Actually, "land-grab" isn't an invalid analogy.  Think of a
> mountain...Imagine some enterprising nonprof manages to buy a scenic
> mountain.  A cadre of volunteers sees to it, cleaning up litter and
> the occasional forest fire.  The nonprof opens up the mountain for
> anyone to go play on, as long as they don't unduly damage it.
> This doesn't prevent commercial organizations from exploiting the
> mountain.  People might sell mountain t-shirts, mountain pictures,
> mini mountains, mountain tours, mountain bus trips or travel packages,
> rooms in mountain-facing hotels, etc.  There's virtually no limit to
> the amount of mountain-related business that can be
> long as the mountain remains untouched.  Because all those businesses
> rely on the mountain being there.
> The purpose of the nonprof is to preserve the mountain and keep it
> untouched, or at least reasonably pristine.  As opposed to, say, some
> strip-mining company that would, for its own profit, make the mountain
> go away.
> And hey, if people from the surrounding businesses want to come in and
> pick up trash too, more power to 'em.
> On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 1:53 PM, Phillip Rhodes
> <> wrote:
>> 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
>> work.
>> 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.
>> Phil
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