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Re: Bad choice of license in BzrForEmacsDevs

From: Lennart Borgman
Subject: Re: Bad choice of license in BzrForEmacsDevs
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 01:02:25 +0100

I am cc:ing Alex so he can take part.

On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 1:05 AM, Stephen J. Turnbull <address@hidden> wrote:
> 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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