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----- Original Message ----

From: plino <>
BRM wrote:

Even the GPL does not provide that right. If a  company wanted it could
take a 
GPL product, make whatever  changes it wanted, and distribute it internally
itself  without ever contributing back to the community as a whole.
Likewise, it  could also distribute that same project to its customers,
the source available to them and them alone. The community will may  never
any changes from them; yet that is perfectly valid  under all Open Source 
licenses - even the GPL.

Nothing  forces people to work with the community. No license can do that.
please do yourself a favor and put that notion - the myth -  aside.

So basically GPL is worth nothing because no one can  force anybody to
contribute back?

Is that an argument in favor of  convincing developers to use the Apache
license (because they aren't getting  anything back anyway) or to simply stop
contributing to Open Source  projects?

No. I am merely pointing out the fallacy in what we being said.

To many people assume that GPL means contribute back to the community when it 
does not.

So to argue forcing people to contribute back under any FLOSS license is 100% 
wrong, when the topic should be about the rights of the end-users - GPL 
guarantees them while Apache and other permissive licenses do not necessarily do 
so - in most all cases I am aware of they do not at all.

IOW, if you are going to argue differences in the license and reasons to go one 
way or the other, at least get your facts straight about the license and its 
implications. Then you can have a proper debate on the merits of which one to go 

BTW, I typically lean towards using the GPL/LGPL myself. However, that won't 
stop me from contributing to BSD/Apache licensed projects either - or even 
projects governed by ICLA/CLA/etc (so long as they don't inhibit my abilities to 
work on other projects under other licenses). Each license has its use; and each 
community has their favored license. TDF/LO favors LGPL/GPL; Apache favors the 
more permissive Apache License. So far as I am concerned, with certain 
exceptions (e.g. MS Public License) as long as the license is approved by the 
Open Source Initiative as being a proper Open Source license - requirements 
being derived from the early Debian Social Contract - then what does it matter 
as long as the users can make an informed decision? - that is, if they don't 
like IBM Symphony they can make the decision to use Apache's OOo or any derived 
product, or even LO (since you guys have at least expressed the concept that you 
are truly an OOo fork and don't want to be seen as a derived product from 
OOo/ApacheOOo). That is just me - and I know many on this list will disagree, 
that is their right.


P.S. On the other hand, I get really pissed at companies like March Hare 
Software, Ltd. that have taken open source - even GPL licensed - software and 
essentially made them proprietary. It is very hard to move off of CVSNT to a 
proper CVS install, or even to another system (e.g. SVN, git) because of the 
changes they have made and the non-availability of the source. Yet, they support 
projects like TortoiseCVS so that users can continue to use CVSNT. 

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