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Re: Bad choice of license in BzrForEmacsDevs

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Bad choice of license in BzrForEmacsDevs
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 09:05:41 +0900

Richard Stallman writes:

 > allowing GPLv2 and not GPLv3 is a very bad example.  We should not
 > set a bad licensing example.

Please get your lawyer to look at it.  It was the need of XEmacs for a
license compatible with the unnamed, unversioned documentation license
we inherited from Lucid (which presumably inherited it from Emacs 18
and Emacs 19) that inspired the multiple licensing.  Alex wanted to
generalize it, so the *intent* is that any license that grants the
listed rights and requires that they be granted to those "downstream"
of the licensee may be used.  GPLv3 clearly qualifies by the intent.

I am fairly sure that Alex would be happy to modify the permission
notice based on a lawyer's advice on how to accomplish his intention.

 > In addition, I wonder about the other pages in that wiki have a
 > similar license.

All pages in the wiki are licensed that way.

I spot-checked one of the major programs distributed on the wiki, Drew
Adams's "icicles".  The pages describing the program say it is "GPL v2
or later" although the pages have the standard permission notice for
the wiki.  The libraries themselves contain the standard permission
notice, for "GPL v2 or later".

So I don't think there is a general problem with programs; anything
large enough to have a separate file probably has the standard
notice.  Snippets of code included directly in a page will have the
page's license, of course, but AFAIK nobody using the wiki believes
that the GPL is only permitted as version 2.  (I understand that what
a court says may vary; please help Alex get the legal advice he needs
to accomplish his intention.)

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