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Re: beamer, pdflatex and auctex


From: Dieter Wilhelm
Subject: Re: beamer, pdflatex and auctex
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2006 02:51:39 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:

> Dieter Wilhelm <address@hidden> writes:
>
>> David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:
>
> [...]
>
>> 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.

Right, I forgot about this patch sending stuff, just thought about
lisp packages.

>> 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.

>From a legal point of view clearly problematic, with common sense it's
another story.  When I give something to a "charity" I'm not eligible
to claim later on "interest".

>> 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.

I see.

> Emacs is too important for the FSF to risk that.

<off_topic>
I'm curious whether the usage of Emacs and TeX is still growing or has
reached some saturation / decline in this age of graphical IDEs.
</off_topic>

Furthermore I'm interested whether the guys in the snippet below have
signed legal papers for the FSF (as is claimed in a certain lisp
file), I'm using and reworking their code.  Do you know how I could
get this piece of information in an unbureaucratic way?

;; This file containes code from ansys-mod.el.
;; Copyright (C) 1997 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
;; Author: Tim Read <address@hidden> (Author does not respond)
;; Author: Geoff Foster <address@hidden> (Address unreachable,
;;   Dieter Wilhelm 2006-03-08)
     
-- 
    Best wishes

    H. Dieter Wilhelm
    Darmstadt, Germany




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