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On 5 June 2011 09:19, Norbert Thiebaud <> wrote:

"Don't you think that is a bit over-paranoid?"

I don't think he is.

"If OOo was so valuable how come they didn't actually sell it off to
like IBM for real dollars?"

How do I know that it did not happen?

Because such transactions (if anything other than trivial) have to be
recorded and it would get out. There are regulatory systems, auditors etc.

do you know what negotiation occurred
between Oracle and IBM, do you know the terms they agreed to?

No but then a negative doesn't prove a positive. If you want to look for
conspiracies you can find them almost anywhere. On balance looking at the
evidence the most likely explanation is ASF said they didn't need the
copyright (confirmed by their people) IBM have an interest in the code for
Symphony. Oracle have no real interest in the code but need somewhere to put
it even if only for PR. They aren't going to give it to TDF for several
reasons so where do they put it? ASF is a very logical choice given the
other constraints. Ok, they *might* have done some  convoluted backhand deal
with IBM to ensure it was a permissive license but I don't see why they
would need to, it was the logical thing to do for them anyway. It could be
that IBM will take on some Oracle coders, I don't know, and I suppose that
would be a form of payment but its small stuff in the scheme of things.

 all I know is
that whitin 30 minutes of the Oracle announce there was 3 page-long blog
from IBMers linking each-other and prasing it... that is not reacting to a
news, that is an orchestrated PR campaign.

Surely they will have talked about stuff behind the scenes and they want it
to work. Not very surprising.

" I should think there is probably broader commercial or legal reason "
Sure.. Who knows what footnote there is regarding the Trademark.. Oracle,
for example, grant unlimited use of the mark to Apache, but reserve the
right to use the mark itself as it see fit? with a well crafted NDA to boot

I think this has now been explained by the ASF people that know licensing

Then drop the code to Apache... see what happen. the worse thing that can
happen is that it dies... which from Oracle point of view is the same as if
they did not transfer the code...(for all intent and purpose the project _is_ dead, look at if you have any doubt)
and at best the code evolve well, and who knows, Apache can even achieve
what Oracle didn't: lure honest Free Software people to unwittingly promote
close-source by agreeing to contribute under the Apache License....

But there is an argument that if we want odf file format to succeed the more
people commercial or otherwise that produce software supporting it the
better. If you are strongly copyleft at all costs you will say this is too
Machiavellian to be supported. OTOH, others might say the end justifies the
means. Individuals will have to make up their own minds.

and at
some point they can take it all back ( a bug^Hfeature of the Apache
and use the Trademark to capture a significant part of an unsuspecting
market (we, on these lists may be very aware of who the players are and who
does what... but the public at large is not)

I don't see how it is possible to "take it all back" Once licensed that code
and subsequent derivatives are not in their control. Just like LO can go on
developing as before. If they fork the project under their own new license,
yes they could make a proprietary version but then so can anyone. I don't
see that in Oracles plans - if it was why bother with ASF at all? To drag in
some developers? Well possibly but they could argue that they already put in
their fair share of development funding over the years.

What a beautiful business plan. at worse you don't lose anything, at best
you got a ton of work for free.

Don't forget Sun and Oracle paid for a substantial part of what is now OOo
and its derivatives so they could argue they have given the community a ton
of work for free.

Note: Trademark are usually not that important for developer centric
application/libraries... who remember what ethereal was? everybody moved on
to wireshark... Hudson is already a footnote in history, anybody that
to that project already knows that Jenkins is their new home... Xfree86 ?
(come to think of it, I'm surprised they didn't apply to Apache.. it seems
to be the weapon of choice for counter-fork these days...) but for
of a product like that is a different story.

And just in case that is not clear to some readers:
If you contribute code under the Apache License, you might just as well
contributed that code to Oracle with copyright assigignment. The copryright
assignment was there only to nullify the protection granted to you by the
GPL as far as the assignee (Oracle) is concerned. Apache License achieve
same thing, just more straight forwardly, with a much more polish PR spin

So if you had objection to contribute to Oracle under these terms you
be just as reluctant to contribute anything under the Apache License.

I'll let the Apache people reply to that as they are much better qualified
to do so than I am.



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