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Re: [Openoffice-extensions-discuss] Guidelines

From: Jesse Weinstein
Subject: Re: [Openoffice-extensions-discuss] Guidelines
Date: Sat, 15 May 2010 01:29:22 -0700

On Wed, 2010-05-12 at 20:25 +0200, Sam Geeraerts wrote:
> Is it enough that there's a file with a license in the extension or must 
> every file in the extension also have a license notice? If the latter, 
> how does that apply to images and other non-functional data in the 
> extension?
I agree with what Jason said, with a slight clarification.  What is
*necessary* for a package to be Free Software is at least one statement
*in the package* that specifically states the exact license the package
is released under; e.g.
    Foobar is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.
i.e., the standard boilerplate paragraph.

As I understand it, it is this text that is the actual, critical license grant.

In order that the package be legally distributable under the GPL by third 
(i.e. people other than the copyright holder),  the package needs to satisfy 
the conditions in the GPL, which are: 
1) it must contain a copy of the text of the license (generally, the earliest 
permitted version)
2) it must contain sufficient source code and associated build scripts to 
enable people to rebuild the package themselves
3) it must contain appropriate copyright notices (which generally means the 
years the package was worked on, and 
     the people or companies who are the copyright holders)

If a package doesn't furfill these conditions, then it must be modified such 
that it does before it is legal for anyone except the
copyright holder to *distribute* it.

None of this gets to the question of where, exactly the "appropriate copyright 
notices" and license statement need to be included.
In my view, this is flexible -- as long as it's clear what the copyright 
notices and license statements cover, and that all the 
copyrightable works in the package are covered by one of the them, it's fine.  
The necessary text can be put wherever is 
convenient and clear.

The way I've been handling adding extension to the list -- if they have the 
necessary license statement, they go on the Free list
(with a note if they are un-distributable verbatim due to other lacks), but I 
contact them and offer to fix the missing legal
boilerplate, and list them *also* on the Free list talk page, with details of 
my contact progress.

If they lack such a clear statement, or specifically say they are licensed 
under a non-Free license, then they go on the NonFree list.

Hope this helps,

Jesse Weinstein

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