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RE: [tdf-discuss] LO vs AOO : GPL/LGPL vs ASL licences


Michael Meeks and I are completely familiar with the differences in our preferences for the 
licenses that we're willing to contribute under.  I fully recognize Michael's declaration.  This 
reply is simply an opportunity to note that Michael's response is a great example of different 
perspectives that people can arrive at and be completely clear about it.  

I completely accept and support Michael's personal view.  The musing below came to mind when I saw 
his response.  They are not meant in any way as a challenge.  It is simply my own stand and 
entirely about what is under my own control.

 - Dennis

RELATED MUSING

I am reminded of what led me to craft, several years ago, a version of the modified BSD License for 
work that I was supporting.  (Some of that work, under that license, has been part of OpenOffice 
source code bodies.)  

For my solo development projects, my current preference is for the Apache License (v2) because it 
is more specific and it makes assertions about any patents I might happen to also have.  But I am 
also happy to work on BSD- and MIT-licensed projects and contribute back under those license. (The 
MPL is too complicated for my brain and I shall avoid it because it is a reciprocal license more 
like the [L]GPL than BSD or ALv2.)

My intention is simple: To provide users of my code with very easy ways to know that their use of 
the code is safe and there are simple requirements for keeping it that way.  The only limitation 
was an attribution requirement.  Additional practices were recommended, but the enforceable 
requirement was that simple.  (My favorite general copyright license is the Creative Commons 
Attribute (CC-By) license.  The simple deed of that license is my absolute favorite.)

A companion consideration for me is to assure recipients of my code that it has clean provenance 
and that I have demonstrated the right to license my contribution the way I do.  To the extend I 
derive code from another source, I make it very clear what the derivation is and that my code's 
dependence on it is both clean in compliance with conditions that apply to the dependency.  This is 
also an element of scholarship that is important to me and, I suspect, it is part of the reason 
that the licenses I do favor have been grouped as "Academic Licenses" by Lawrence Rosen.

This attention to provenance goes beyond what licenses say.  It is part of my commitment that 
recipients can satisfy themselves that the code is safe to use and that any limitations are clear 
and understandable.  (I am very careful to avoid examining or using [L]GPL source code, because I 
don't want there to be any question that I have misappropriated any code under such a license.  My 
handling of code provenance also supports downstream users having that assurance.)

This is all on behalf of downstream recipients and the confidence I want them to have in easily 
determining permissible usage.  

Under current law practically everywhere, every developer has automatic, exclusive copyright on 
their own original work (when not done for hire).  The developer has (apart from some special 
exceptions that do not concern us here) exclusive legal rights over specific uses of their work and 
licensing of those uses to others.  So long as that is the legal foundation, those choices are ours 
individually.    

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Meeks [mailto:michael.meeks@suse.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, January 01, 2013 13:40
To: dennis.hamilton@acm.org
Cc: 'webmaster-Kracked_P_P'; discuss@documentfoundation.org
Subject: RE: [tdf-discuss] LO vs AOO : GPL/LGPL vs ASL licences


On Mon, 2012-12-31 at 20:53 -0800, Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:
I contribute to Alv2-licensed projects and I agree to the ASF rules
for Apache committers.  It satisfies me that anyone who receives code
from me can do essentially all of the things that I can do with it and
they are assured that I can't revoke that grant.

        This commonality of rights and lack of revocation is broadly the same
for LGPLv3+/MPLv2 licensing too; it doesn't seem particularly
distinctive to me.

        What most satisfies me is that those I share my work with are obliged
to either contribute their changes back for the common good. Personally
I am deeply suspicious of the commitment to code-sharing and community
of those who will not do that, but it's easy for them not to use the
code and they are more than welcome to go and not share with each other
elsewhere of course :-) Indeed - if I had to contribute small changes to
such a codebase where the majority of contributors -to-that-code-base-
thought that this was a good way to go, I'd be inclined to muck-in with
that - but that's emphatically not the case for LibreOffice.

        All the best,

                Michael.
        
-- 
michael.meeks@suse.com  <><, Pseudo Engineer, itinerant idiot


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