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Re: Function for quoting Emacs manual sections?

From: Yoni Rabkin
Subject: Re: Function for quoting Emacs manual sections?
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2010 15:58:23 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.2 (gnu/linux)

David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:

> Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:
>>>> Maybe I'm missing something, but I see no part in GFDL that speaks
>>>> specifically about such email quotations.
>> Isn't that covered by the copyright law already?
> Sure.  Namely it is forbidden by default.  You can't quote any creative
> content that would suffice for not needing to get access the original.
> Because then you are providing value only the copyright holder is
> permitted to provide.

(I'm not a lawyer and I don't represent the FSF but I have been
volunteering at the GPL Compliance Lab for the past 5 years, so I have a
bit of experience with these things)

We can't answer the general question of "what is considered a derivative
work" because it is too vague. Someone who really wants an answer takes
a specific case to a copyright lawyer and continues from there.

But in these cases we don't need a specific answer. Emacs' documentation
is the copyright of the FSF (and therefore only they are legally
empowered to enforce the terms of the license for the work) and I
seriously doubt that they will decide to act against David, or anyone
else, who quotes their manuals in a good faith effort to teach people
about free software. If the community recognizes a bad actor somewhere
taking advantage of this then that issue should be taken care of

So David may be right, and his attitude toward taking the license
seriously is commendable, but in this case I can't see it as a problem.

That said: the fact that there is this uncertainty, enough to make David
doubt his good work in the first place, shouldn't be ignored. We can ask
for a clarification.

One way to do this would be to open a ticket with address@hidden and
let Brett Smith and the volunteers deal with it (warning: it may take an
unlimited amount of time to get around to).

David can open this ticket by emailing the GPL Compliance Lab, but I
would be happy to do it myself.

   "Cut your own wood and it will warm you twice"

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