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Re: Debian patches

From: Karl Berry
Subject: Re: Debian patches
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 23:39:17 GMT

    >> I notice that grep.texi now uses year ranges in its copyright notice.
    >> I am confused, because I thought this was discouraged. Has thinking
    >> changed on this?

No, thinking on this has not changed (ever).

    > I've always seen obvious value in using ranges, and decreased value
    > in writing them out.  Arguments to the contrary?

There are no "arguments", it's just a suboptimality in the legal system.
At least (as I've said before), when I read the Library of Congress
documents, I saw nothing saying that ranges were permitted.  I've also
never seen ranges in printed books.  Finally, it was the FSF's lawyers
who originally determined it (long ago) as the best/safest practice.  FWIW.

Does that mean a copyright statement using ranges suddenly becomes
completely meaningless and legally invalid, like a compiler saying
"syntax error"?  Certainly not.  The law doesn't work like that.  It's a
matter of what is recommended.  If you choose not to follow the
recommendation, the world won't end.

For myself, I just wish we could stop redundantly having this discussion
over and over :).  We've wasted much more time on emails about it than
could possibly have ever been saved by using ranges.  Are we going to
talk about trailing whitespace next :)?


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