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Jean Weber wrote

On the documentation list, I proposed changing the license for NEW
docs from the legacy licensing (carried over from the OOo user guides
that were revised for LO) to a different license. [snip]

I have gone though the entire thread, and I have both a couple of things to
say and a couple of questions to ask. Although I am a member of TDF Board of
Directors and a TDF spokesperson, at the moment I am speaking as an
independent individual working for the project in the marketing environment.

First, I will express my ideas.

In addition to being a professional marketer, I am a journalist and a book
author. I have studied the legal aspects of documents - and related licenses
- before deciding to use CC BY-NC-SA for all my licensed documents (mostly

I think it should be clear that GPL, LGPL, AL and MPL are software licenses,
which have been stretched in their scope to include documents because
someone - definitely not a lawyer - has thought they were appropriate. I am
not familiar with the law of every country, but these licenses are not
compatible - at all - with the Italian law (Codice Civile).

On the contrary, Creative Commons has been developed by Lawrence Lessig in
order to protect copyright in Internet times, because Codice Civile and
similar laws were not contemplating the free distribution and the reuse of
contents. CC is a specific license for documents, and as such should be the
only one used for documents. Using a software license does not simply make
sense, and should be avoided. CC has been studied to be compatible with
Codice Civile and similar laws.

In addition, The Document Foundation is definitely supporting copyleft
software licenses, and actively discouraging the use of so called
"permissive" licenses - which I personally prefer to define as "predatory",
because they steal from the community to give to the rich and wealthy (to
make it easy, the opposite of Robin Hood) - such as the Apache License.

Although we have not discussed the subject at BoD level, I can anticipate
that the foreseeable result of a discussion would be against using Apache
License for documents. I would personally discard a document licensed under
AL, as I discard every document licensed with a software license (because
they are the result of a nonsensical choice).

Of course, each individual is free to choose how to license his work, but I
would really prefer to default to CC and add AL - or any other software
license - only if the individual has a strong motivation to do so.
Defaulting to CC/AL, in my opinion, means to "legally" steal the work of all
people who are not enough knowledgeable about software licenses (in my
opinion, the majority of people involved in documentation).

Second, I will ask questions.

Are we speaking about LibreOffice user guides? In this case, I do think that
it does not even make sense to use Apache License, because LibreOffice is
moving forward from that code base while AOOoI is moving backwards from the
same code base thanks to the insanity of IP sanitization, and the two
programs will differ in a substancial way.

Are we thinking to change the template without explaining to individuals the
consequences - for their intellectual property - of the license
change/addition? I would personally find this EXTREMELY unfair, and I would
personally veto the license change without a clear and visible explanation
of the consequences for their work of AL adoption for documents.

Italo Vignoli
Director - The Document Foundation
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