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Re: [Groff] Introduction

From: Werner LEMBERG
Subject: Re: [Groff] Introduction
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2005 23:03:38 +0200 (CEST)

> > Be warned that I need a copyright assignment (from those who
> > haven't assigned one already) in case the added code is longer
> > than around 15 lines.
> As far as formal copyright is concerned, I'm not sure of the
> implications.

You don't have to worry since you've already signed a copyright
disclaimer a long time ago :-)

> [...] But once such a thing gets a "copyright assignment", does that
> then put it into the grip of the GNU GPL or the like?  With the
> implication that if anyone makes a change and then passes on the
> revised version, there must be the canonical reference to the
> original sources or traceback thereto?  Etc.?

Uh, oh, you should actually read the GPL!  You can do with the source
whatever you want.  The only limitation is that your derived work must
have the same license (namely the GPL).

> While I'm a devotee of the principles of Free Software, and for all
> that I recognise the protection that GPL etc. provide for these
> principles, I'm also a devotee of Freedom From Bureaucracy!

As the case IBM vs. SCO shows, collecting copyright assignments is not
as paranoid as many people have thought previously...

Anyway, there are two other possibilities:

  1. Put your script exlicitly into the public domain, or use a BSD
     license.  I can include it into the groff bundle by saying that
     it isn't part of the groff project but bundled for convenience.
     I already do this for some components in groff (as do other GNU

  2. Put it into

     as a completely separate package.

> (This also connects to UTP, which Meg mentioned, and I'll post
> separately about that when I've had a bit more think ... ).

No, the (new) UTP license is incompatible with the GPL.  For this
reason, it can't become part of groff.  See


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