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Subject: ODF Reciprocal License Allegation

Hi all,

Pamela Jones of Groklaw.net just contacted me about the license of the OpenDocument format. 
She pointed out a blog from Microsoft's Brian Jones:


<MS Brian Jones quote>
While we're on this topic, I think it's important that you all take a
look at the comparable situation with Open Document. A lot of folks just
seem to assume that since it's a standard, there are no IP issues and
everything is very straightforward. Well, take a look at this:
http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/office/ipr.php Sun seems to be
saying that it may have IP in the Open Document spec. While Sun says it
is willing to provide a royalty-free license, one would still need to
ask Sun for a license. The license is not posted. It would be
interesting to see, and I'll probably try to see if I can find it. The
statement on the site alone reveals that at a minimum, they have at
least one condition – you have to give Sun a reciprocal license.

<OOo Discuss quote>
We need a response to this MS allegation that there are IP issues with ODF.  And whether ODF is
GPL-compatible. It is hard to imagine it not being GPL compatible, since
it's being used by KOffice, which is GPL.  I hope Gary can give us an answer.

Any thoughts on this?  Before the day is out i will try to speak with Peter Quinn, the CIO of Massachusetts about this.  No doubt Microsoft hopes this issue falls right on his head.  But i think the OpenDoc TC has to be prepared to respond.


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