Saturday, July 15, 2006

red diamond OpenDocument (ODF) compatible with GPL

Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has found the Open Document Format to be compatible with free software licensing, such as the General Public License (GPL) and the Apache License. SFLC wrote an "OpenDocument Opinion Letter" on behalf of the Apache Software Foundation and and the Free Software Foundation (FSF). The letter is signed by the SFLC's legal council, Eben Mogley. The opinion concludes with the following findings.
  1. Under the relevant OASIS patent policy, all Essential Claims held by OASIS Technical Committee Obligated Members are available to all implementors of ODF on terms compatible with free and open source software licenses.
  2. Sun’s license terms for access to its Essential Claims are fully compatible with free and open source software licensing.

    • Sun’s terms are compatible with contribution and licensing under the policies and license of the Apache Software Foundation.

    • Sun’s terms are not in conflict with Section 7 of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU General Public License, and are not otherwise incompatible with the GPL.
This means that "Free Open Source Projects" can use the format. We can expect more OSS development teams to adopt the format and see more applications supporting it or like the Plone foundation using it in some other way. This is also another confirmation supporting the State of Massachusetts' decision to use it for longterm storage.


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