[libvoikko] Libvoikko and MS Office

Harri Pitkänen hatapitk at iki.fi
Mon Apr 19 18:17:33 EEST 2010

On Monday 19 April 2010, Sjur Moshagen wrote:
> problematic to support the Sámi spellers in MS Office on Windows. Or am I
>  wrong?

The idea of using libvoikko for MS Office spell checkers has probably been 
discussed only by private mail and not on this list. Perhaps I should explain 
this to the rest of the readers.

It is hopefully clear to everyone that the current license of libvoikko would 
not allow such thing at all. There are no secret dual licenses either so this 
is where we still stand at the moment.

I have however stated that from my point of view a license exception is 
possible in the future that would allow using libvoikko in a MS Office spell 
checker module. The exception would be strictly targeted for this particular 
type of use. In particular,

- It would not cover the entire libvoikko, only those parts that are necessary 
for this purpose. Anything related to Malaga would not be covered (I would not 
have rights to make such exception for code taken from Malaga).

- The exception would only allow the use of the library in a GPL incompatible 
application. GPL incompatible backends are definitely out of the question.

- Whenever libvoikko would be used with a GPL incompatible application it 
would be required that all backends and morphological data used there must be 
compatible with both GPL and the license exception must apply to them too. 
This is a subtle but important requirement (and more restrictive than GPL 
itself) since it would cover the morphological data regardless of whether it 
can be considered derivative work of the library or not.

The reasoning behind such exception is to encourage releasing linguistic 
resources and software under free licenses while simultaneously making life 
easier for those who need to make their software work with both MS Office and 


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