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  1. Legal Discuss
  2. LEGAL-117

Aggregation of GPL dictionaries with Apache OpenOffice (incubating) binary releases



    • Type: Question
    • Status: Closed
    • Priority: Major
    • Resolution: Fixed
    • Component/s: None
    • Labels:


      Localized versions of OpenOffice.org have traditionally included dictionaries (a term used to designate data files for writing aids in general, like spell-checking dictionaries and thesauri) under the GPL license. These dictionaries are provided in the form of data files.

      Dictionaries are not a dependency of OpenOffice.org: they are packaged, even in the installer for native builds, as extensions. Any Windows version of OpenOffice.org is shipped as one file, containing separate modules for OpenOffice.org and for each linguistic extension (i.e., the dictionaries).

      This is possible because OpenOffice.org dictionaries, as confirmed by the Free Software Foundation in 2007 https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=65039 fall in the "mere aggregation" provision of the GPL license http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#MereAggregation

      The only remaining issue to be able to include GPL dictionaries in Apache OpenOffice is thus the Apache policy http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html which forbids GPL software from being included in Apache projects; but the rationale for this choice http://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html clearly states that "This licensing incompatibility applies only when some Apache project software becomes a derivative work of some GPLv3 software", definitely not the case under discussion.

      In light of the above, can Apache OpenOffice include GPL spell-checking dictionaries with its binary releases?




            • Assignee:
              rubys Sam Ruby
              pescetti Andrea Pescetti
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