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legalese haters club

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: legalese haters club
Date: Sun, 06 Oct 2013 17:20:58 +0900

Executive summary:

But why do you care?  The solution (for Emacs users -- does anybody
develop Emacs with vi?) has been available since the Cretaceous Period
(more exactly, January 19, 1991) as "hide-copyleft.el".

Please leave the boilerplate alone, or you'll break the software!

P.S. I don't use it myself.

Daniel Colascione writes:
 > On 10/5/13 9:52 AM, Richard Stallman wrote:

 > >       | ;; GNU Emacs is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
 > >       | ;; but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
 > >       | ;; GNU General Public License for more details.
 > Is this shouty bit really necessary?

Depends on which lawyer you ask.  Evidently the FSF's think it's a
good idea.  It's actually not shouty; the usage of all caps here
precedes the Internet.  I wouldn't be surprised if it precedes the

 > Has there been a case in recorded history of a distributor or
 > developer of a program being held liable because he omitted similar
 > language? The SQLite people haven't been sued, after all, and they
 > release their software in the public domain.

Public domain materials don't have an owner, so there's nobody to
provide a warrantee.  You'd have to prove criminal negligence or
malicious intent to have a chance of recovering anything in that case.
You'd also have to prove a particular person was responsible for a
particular fault, and then find their money.[1]

None of the above applies to FSF-owned software.  Let the lawyers be
lawyers, so we don't have to.

[1]  Well, actually the typical ambulance-chasing-type lawyer would
check the checking account balance, and only then go looking for proof.

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