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----- Original Message ----

From: todd rme <>
Sent: Thu, June 16, 2011 3:13:15 PM
Subject: Re: [tdf-discuss] Re: [Libreoffice] Proposal to join Apache 

On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 9:05 PM, Greg Stein <> wrote:
Ben  explained much of this already, but let's see if I can add some  more:

On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 14:46, plino <>  wrote:

In the context of a public free Office Suite  isn't that the same? If under
GPL you MUST release the source as  GPL, isn't that in practical terms the
same as releasing the  modifications you made???

Nope. Again, because I only need to  release it to the people that I
gave a binary to. That is not the same  as "the community making the

I think you missed the  "public free Office Suite" bit.  In that case
the "people you gave the  binary to" is "anyone who wants it", which
would include the developers if  they want to use the source code.  So
in this case, in practice, having  the code as GPL means you must give
the code back to the developers, or  rather you must make the code
available for the developers to get for  themselves.  This is the
situation software suites like IBM's would have  fallen under.
Wrong. OOo, TDF/LO, etc may be making a public release. IBM, for example, may 

They are only releasing to people who _pay them_ for the product. _ONLY_ those 
people (the ones they specifically distributed the product to) are required to 
be able to receive it - not necessarily the developer they drew the code from.

Someone could take TDF/LO and make changes and do the same thing - only release 
to their paying customers.
And they only have to give the source to one of those paying customers - not 
anyone that comes along and asks for it.
Granted, if _one_ of those paying customers asked for the source they would then 
have the rights to pass it back to TDF/LO, but you cannot rely on that 
happening. Their paying customers are guaranteed that right by the GPL;  but 
that GPL grants _you_ as the developer nothing other than that.

So as Greg said, who has the rights (per the GPL) to receive the source is not 
necessarily the same as the community. The only people that have rights to 
receiving the source are the ones that the product was specifically distributed 
to. If you are are not someone that received the product distributed by them, 
then you have no rights to receive the source - plain & simple.


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