OpenOffice dot Org – WTF happened?

Late 2011 – Oracle, those megalomaniacs that they be, went and dumped OpenOffice dot Org onto the Apache Software Foundation.  Why?  We really couldn’t tell you ‘why’, at least not for certain.

But, if we had to guess, it would be that the bulk of the programmers / contributors who “knew their shit” jumped ship to Document Foundation.

Document Foundation is the group of people formed to build and protect the fork of OpenOffice dot Org code that occurred when Oracle went to Cyber War with the OpenOffice contributors (comprised of former Sun, then Oracle employees / community members / and others).  Take a shit on nerds, and they’ll shit right back – directly in your face.

So now Oracle, without any internal steam to push OpenOffice figured it would cut its losses and (in a manner of speaking) write it off on their moral taxes.  How so?  Easy – donate the whole project and basecode to the Apache Software Foundation.  Now, Oracle can look like a benevolent contributor to the open source community (even though they’re far from it – the only stuff worth running that they give away is stuff they hijacked from Sun Microsystems… Java / MySQL / OpenOffice / Virtual Box – and of course what they recompiled from Red Hat’s code: ‘Oracle’ Enterprise Linux – if Oracle wasn’t legally required to give away these tools, we doubt there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that they actually would.  If anything, they’d try to sell it at 4-times the going rate).

What’s the hidden upside for Oracle?  The Apache Software Foundation’s Licensing terms are different from the GNU GPL.  In fact – the GNU GPL version 3 is what you might call “too Bill Clinton” for Oracle; and their move to the ASF and it’s licensing model will be interesting, as it’s a bit more “Ronald Reagan / Trickle Down Software Economics”.

We’re curious about one thing here at SC… can it even be done?  Can a piece of software licensed under the GNU GPL change ownership of copyright (Sun, to Oracle, and now to the Apache Software Foundation) and in doing so be allowed to change it’s License Model?  Questions of legality and ethics abound.  Certainly not questions of morality – we feel it’s wholly a-moral.  Ethics and morals are about as far divorced as as small block Ford and a Hemi-Cuda, so don’t mistake that.

This will be interesting….

For your enjoyment, here’s an excerpt from the apache.org mirrors mailing list that we received the other day…

Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2012 11:30:13 +0100
Subject: Re: openoffice at apache.org
From: Sergey Ivanov <mirrors@skazkaforyou.com>
To: mirrors@apache.org
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
X-Virus-Checked: Checked by ClamAV on apache.org
X-Virus-Scanned: clamav-milter 0.96.1 at pentiumslayer1.spinellicreations.com
X-Virus-Status: Clean
X-Spam-Status: No, score=3.4 required=5.0 tests=FH_DATE_PAST_20XX autolearn=no
version=3.2.5
X-Spam-Level: ***
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.2.5 (2008-06-10) on
pentiumslayer1.spinellicreations.com
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by pentiumslayer1.spinellicreations.com id q2KAUjQ8024343

Please also opt out apache.skazkaforyou.com – we also would not be
able to survive such traffic.

Thank you.

On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM, James Miller
<jmiller@parentinginformed.com> wrote:
> Traffic would be a problem for us (apache.parentingamerica.com), so I
> would like to opt out as well.
>
>
> On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM, Victor Raff <mirrors@raffsoftware.com> wrote:
>> Then I would definitely like to opt out…
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 10:18 AM, Henk P. Penning <penning@uu.nl> wrote:
>>> On Tue, 20 Mar 2012, Matthew McGehrin -Reverse.Net- wrote:
>>>
>>>> Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2012 01:33:08 +0100
>>>> From: Matthew McGehrin -Reverse.Net- <support@reverse.net>
>>>> To: mirrors@apache.org
>>>> Subject: Re: openoffice at apache.org
>>>
>>>
>>> Hi All,
>>>
>>>> I’m really not interested in hosting OpenOffice. Would mirrors be
>>>> able to exclude this? Or would we have to stop being a mirror?
>>>
>>>
>>>  This is what we want to find out ; if very many mirrors have
>>>  a problem, we can look at making openoffice optional for
>>>  mirrors.
>>>
>>>  But, for now (for this poll), let us know if you have a
>>>  problem with having “Apache OpenOffice” on your mirror.
>>>
>>>  I will assume that sites that indicate “I have a problem”
>>>  would like an “opt-out” ; and that sites that indicate
>>>  “I would like an opt-out” will have a problem (and leave)
>>>  if/when there isn’t going to be an “opt-out”.
>>>
>>>  Remember: nothing is decided yet ; the goal of this poll
>>>  is to find out what the best policy is.
>>>
>>>  Regards,
>>>
>>>  Henk Penning
>>>
>>> ———————————————————   _
>>> Henk P. Penning, ICT-beta

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