Re: What is GNOME office?

On Mon, Nov 20, 2000 at 04:30:47PM -0800, Bruce Perens wrote:
> From: Mathieu Lacage <mathieu eazel com>
> > I believe that Sun can drop their current licencing policy.
> Sun called me to discuss this policy before the OpenOffice announcement.
> I suggested that when they accept a copyright they should make a covenant
> with the contributor that Sun or its assigns would continue to make new
> versions of the software available under the present licenses (GPL or
> LGPL and SCSSL) as long as Sun or its assigns are actively developing
> the software.
> I can push a bit harder on this with their executive V.P. for software.
> Would that change improve the situation from your standpoint? Sun is
> motivated to make this partnership work.

I think the suggestion you propose, while properly motivated, 
misses an important aspect.  If Sun still has the copyright,
they could continue to release OO as a GPL app, but use that
code in other, closed source applications.  As far as I can 
tell, Sun plans to give away StarOffice, and sell StarPortal.
Not having the copyright would make the following two things

1) Providing their release of StarOffice, linked with closed
source additional libraries, as they plan to do. See the KDE 

2) Selling StarPortal.  Presumably they don't want to give 
this away, and so would want to keep it closed.  Not having
control over the copyright might prevent this.  

Having an OpenOffice foundation, if it was properly set up, 
would make this much easier.  

> FSF asks for copyright assignment too, you know. They want to be able to
> change the GPL if a court strikes part of the old GPL down, they want to
> be able to bring copyright infringement suits on their own, etc.

If tommorow the source for Solaris was available under the GPL, 
and Scott Macneally donated his life savings (which I believe 
are fairly substantial) to the cause of Free software, Sun still
wouldn't have the credibility in the community that the FSF has.

	sam th		     
	sam uchicago edu
	GnuPG Key:

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