On Thu, Nov 09, 2000 at 02:21:00PM +0000, fergal daly wrote:
> Sounds like it's asking to be forked (your honour),
>> Donncha O Caoimh wrote:
> > Hmm..
> > "OpenOffice has some interesting constraints due to the way it is
> > licensed. Any code which is to become part of OpenOffice must
> > (1) be dual-licensed under both the GPL and Sun's SISSL, and
> > (2) have its copyright ownership transferred (in writing) to Sun."
> > I wonder how many people would be happy with those conditions?
I can appreciate that the conditions may appear a little onerous at first
glance, but its not extremely bizarre or out of all order by any means, i.e.
1) Mozilla also was dual licenced
2) The FSF also asks you to sign copyright over to them.
So the concepts are known and the existance of such requirements does not make
OOo particularly restrictive, granted that duallicencing is clumsy and Sun may
not have the same level of trust that the FSF has, or even that netscape had,
but nevertheless there has been nothing to date which could be considered
a hostile move on Suns side. It is a pity that OOo cannot grab hunks of
GPLed projects and use them direct rather than recreate them to fit the dual
licence requirements, but netscape had the same requirement and there wasn't
a GPLed fork split of netscape, or any of its independant dual licenced
components if I recall correctly.
Anyone working on the serious fsf projects, like gcc or other core major
projects is usually asked to transfer copyright to the FSF. There are all sorts
of solid legal reasons to do this, only copyright holders can sue etc etc, so
if someone rips code out of a project with 20 contributers and no clear
copyright assignment, only the actual party which wrote the ripped off chunk
The real issue is a lack of trust in Sun, in its defence you do have xedy
million line of code released under the LGPL for inclusion into any other
project, you can use Suns stuff, Sun cannot use your stuff, so it is weighed
away from Sun. Theres currently a little confusion between GNOME and OOo and
where everything fits in, but Id characterize it as confusion not dark plots of
world domination, it does remain to be seen as to how things work out, but its
premature to damn OOo on the basis of copyright assignment and/or dual
licencing. Perhaps a trust building formula might be worked out to show
that Sun isn't going to run away with submitted code and do something
evil with it (though it would always have been made available under the GPL
anyway) and isn't trying to perform a takeover of GNOME, if you have
concerns on these issues Id very much reccomend raising the issue on
discuss at openoffice.org and/or gnome-office-list at gnome.org where your
voice can be heard by "those that are imbued with decisiveness"
(Ob disclosure: I work for StarOffice the wholly owned Sun Subsidary, and
can be expected to make up all sorts of stuff)
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