Open Letter to Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer at Sun Microsystems

Dear Simon,

much has been said about the importance of the establishment of a well organized Open Source Community to benefit the future of, and we do agree upon this goal.

As Italian Native-Lang Project we believe that:

  • an open source project is about sequential innovation, it’s about contributing software, documents and tools to something as a community for the benefit of others;
  • open source projects are open to the participation of anybody who can contribute value and is willing to work with the community, and volunteering demands big respect.

We have tried for seven months to get an answer about the hypothetic mismatch between license and the Italian dictionary and thesaurus released by Italian volunteers.
The former is under LGPL, where textual resources are released under the GNU GPL license.

We’re spending time and efforts from months to include such useful and powerful resources, while we could invest our energies in more important issues, like promoting ODF and along institutions, supporting users and developing and including more extensions.

Should the Italian Native-Lang Project mantain a fork to distribute users a full version of, along with those textual resource?
We do really hope not, and we’re looking forward to get your help with the legal review of licenses.

The Italian Native-Lang Project team

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2 thoughts on “Open Letter to Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer at Sun Microsystems

  1. Hi Roberto.

    I’ve looked into this and the problem was that, by using the GPL rather than the LGPL for your contribution, it was necessary for Sun’s legal team to conduct an extensive discussion about the implications of distributing it with (which as you know is licensed under LGPL), and that discussion was disrupted by staffing changes in mid-stream. Some delay in public comment was inevitable because of the fact you’d used a license the community has not chosen and because seeking legal advice in the US is necessarily a confidential matter under US law. I apologise for the extra delay that was unavoidably caused by the staffing changes.

    I have now received legal advice that gives me confidence that inclusion of this great facility will be OK from a licensing perspective, and it will proceed forthwith. I’d like to thank you and your team for both your important contribution to and for your patience waiting for the process to complete.


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