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Re: beamer, pdflatex and auctex

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: beamer, pdflatex and auctex
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 23:51:16 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Dieter Wilhelm <address@hidden> writes:

> David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:


>>> An innocent question: Is AUCTeX too big to be included into the
>>> standard Emacs installation?
>> It would require about two dozen past contributors to be found and
>> persuaded to assign their copyright to the FSF.  All current
>> contributors and the past maintainers have already done this (we
>> reached that state about a month ago), but it will likely take
>> quite a bit of time and luck to finish this process.
> Another really innocent question: I assume that all former
> contributors have put their code already under the GPL.

There has been no explicit act or a guarantee or whatever.  They sent
some code to the maintainer, not stating the conditions under which it
may be used.

> Why is this not sufficient for including their work in the official
> Emacs installation, why must they even give up their copyright?
> They already stated that their code can be reused by everyone,
> couldn't it?

They made no legally binding statement whatsoever.

> Understand me right, I'm not against assigning code to the FSF,
> quite the opposite but what puzzles me is why the usage of GPL code
> could be somehow degrading or harmful for the FSF and Emacs in
> particular.

Because if some former employer of theirs declares to have the
copyright on passages, and this employer decides to release a version
of Emacs _not_ under the GPL, the FSF might be unable to sue for
compliance to the GPL because of "dirty hands": they have used code
copyrighted by the other party, and vice versa.  Such cases tend to
get thrown out of court altogether.

Emacs is too important for the FSF to risk that.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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