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The copyright issue

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: The copyright issue
Date: Thu, 05 Aug 2010 21:15:26 +0900

Uday S Reddy writes:

 > But it seems that the FSF copyright policy has become a bugbear, which
 > might not have been the original intention.

The effects that the policy has were the original intention, at least
in some sense.

 > The current situation is highly asymmetric.  Anybody, including a
 > private corporation, can use the FSF codebase to develop their
 > variants,

Yes.  That's called "software freedom", and this effect was intended
for sure.

 > but Gnu Emacs can't use their enhancements to enrich itself.

Enrichment is not the goal here.  Software freedom is.  In cases where
GNU Emacs refuses code because it doesn't own it, that's a deliberate
choice made in the interest of software freedom.

 > So, Gnu ends up lagging behind and, perhaps in cases like Aquamacs,
 > not even being able to enter the territory.

Aquamacs has no legal problems AFAIK, and for all I know David has
already assigned that code to the FSF.  (The point is the
*possibility*, not whether he's actually done so.)  GNU just doesn't
want that code in Emacs until the corresponding features are available
on free systems.

 > Can't we find a way out of this dilemma?

A way out of most of the "dilemma" has existed for 15 years.  Today it
is called XEmacs, and there are other alternative paths as well.  Most
of the people here simply don't find those roads acceptable.

In other words, "Problem?  What problem?"

And-I-I-took-the-one-less-traveled-by-ly y'rs,

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