OpenOffice.org chooses LGPL3 for next release

By   |  March 9, 2008

The OpenOffice.org project has announced that it will release future releases of the open source office suite under the LGPL3 licence, starting with the beta for OpenOffice.org 3.0.

The development team said there was “discussion about the implications of the ratification of GPLv3 or LGPLv3 for OpenOffice.org among the OpenOffice.org project leads. The leads were generally in favour of adopting the updated licences. The outcome of this and other discussions is that Sun is changing the licence for the OpenOffice.org codebase to the more flexible and protective LGPL v3, effective with the beta of OpenOffice.org 3.0 which is due later this year. This change is supported by the OpenOffice.org Community Council.”

The move to the LGLP3 licence was done in particular because the new licence offers additional protection for the community against software patents, the development team said in a statement.

“OpenOffice.org will continue using the LGPL so as to minimise the disruption to our community and expanding ecosystem, which evolved around the LGPL codebase. The LGPL grants flexibility to a broad range of users and developers, while still ensuring that modifications to the code are contributed back to the community.”

“The new licence is a major reason to exchange the Joint Copyright Assignment(JCA) with the Sun Contributor Agreement. For OpenOffice.org there will be an addendum, which accommodates developers of the core OOo codebase and of non-core extensions through different contribution models. It does not change the fact that contributions to the product packaged as OpenOffice.org require an SCA.

The addendum allows OpenOffice.org to more easily host the source code of extensions which will promote collaboration with other interested parties on the respective extension in a familiar environment. There is similar flexibility for documentation.

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