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Hi :)
The sealed envelope trick to prove "prior art" (or something) is pretty neat.  I think it does 
depend on the laws of your country though.  I think it might be valid in the Uk but it might be 
worth looking up "Creative Commons" to see a more technical and modern approach
Regards from 
Tom :)

From: Kracked_P_P---webmaster <>
Sent: Tuesday, 30 July 2013, 22:48
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] License for a LO Calc document?

On 07/30/2013 02:33 PM, Jay Lozier wrote:
On Tue, 30 Jul 2013 14:16:39 -0400, csanyipal <> 


how can ( if can ) one protect her/his LO Calc document ( spreadsheet 
) with
a copyright license?

What is the preferred way to eg.: share a Calc document, but 
protecting it
from expropriate?

Or is it sufficient to protect a Calc document with a password?

Best Regards from

You set a password for opening a document and another for editting. 
You need to set them when saving the document. For a limited 
distribution document this is probably adequate. You then need to 
distribute the passwords. In theory you know who has access and thus 
could be the source of any misuse.

If you want the document to be readily accessible, read-only there is 
a risk for someone to expropriate your work.

If you take a printed copy and a CD copy of the spreadsheet.  Add all of 
the documentation about how, and when you made it.  Then mail it to 
yourself.  Make sure it is sealed very, very well, so no one could say 
you placed the stuff in the envelope at a later date.

When you get it in the mail, do not open it.  Give it to your lawyer 
inside another envelope with the same printer and CD copies and all the 

The sealed mailing will show a postal date.  That gives you a time line 
showing you developed it as late as such and such date.  Giving it to a 
lawyer, or having the lawyer mail it to you can help with some later 
legal issues that may come up.  Make sure you get input from a lawyer as 
soon in the process as possible.

That is the cheapest way of proving you came up with the "idea". But, 
you need more, I think.  You want people to use the sheet but not steal 
the code, right?

That is a different issue.

Copyright and licensing a "set of code" can be different in many ways on 
how to protect you rights.  You should do the "simple protection" of the 
mailing to start and then get involved with a copyright lawyer.  Next is 
the "securing" of you spread sheet "codes" and macros.  That could be 
done in some cases with password protections to stop people from 
editing, or listing out, all of the cell contents and the macros 
involved.  Some type of "execute only" option is needed.  Also, having 
the only the cells that need to be changeable be able to be edited is a 
good idea.

How a spread sheet can do all of this.?. . . Well, I would have made a 
program and compiled it and had it run just like the spreadsheet would 
for showing the rows and columns.  That is one of the only ways I could 
make sure my work not get its internal "coding" available for others to 
read, copy, etc..

Now the question a lawyer would ask. . .  What are you going to 
licensing and for want purpose.  Are you going to allow users to 
download the file and require them to pay you for a key or password to 
allow it to run?  Or are you going to license the intellectual property 
of the coding of the cells and macros?  Will you hold the copyright or 
the "code base" and allow others to use it or are you wanting to keep 
others from seeing what you have created but have a way to use it.

There are a lot of things you need to ask yourself and these are just 
some of the things I remember a lawyer asking me when I created an item 
I wanted to protect as my intellectual property and stop others from 
claiming it was theirs.

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