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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2014 17:21:10 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

"Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> writes:

> David Kastrup writes:
>  > "Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> writes:
>  > > However, this situation is easily enough changed.  The useful programs
>  > > from the LLVM project can be forked (AFAIK their license is not
>  > > perversely incompatible with the GPL) as GNU projects under the "GPL
>  > > v3 or later" permission schema.
>  > >
>  > > Would you object to that?
>  > 
>  > I'd object, for basically practical reasons.  You can fork code, but you
>  > cannot fork a community.
> True.
>  > A fork of the LLVM codebase under the GPLv3 makes only sense if you
>  > actually add nontrivial nonseparable components under the GPLv3 or
>  > the code base can be just swapped out.
> Not at all.  This could merely be a distribution fork, like the
> Ghostscript dual license scheme, or the various foobar+gnureadline
> distributions of individual programs that appeared over the years, or
> like some of the various commercial versions of BSD and X11 and TeX
> that have appeared over the years.
> And of course the code base can just be swapped out.  The point is
> simply to make the public point that *this* distribution is copyleft,
> and *that one* isn't.  "Defend" their free software for them, as it
> were.

But you can't.  There is no point in slapping a license on a
distribution when you don't have standing to sue over license breaches
since you are not holding copyright to any significant part of it.

It only weakens the GPL if you start creating situations where it cannot
be taken seriously and/or enforced.

> OpenOffice vs. LibreOffice ... doesn't that undermine your point?
> Apache 2.0 is compatible with GNU GPL 3.0.  I would suppose it's
> compatible with LGPL 3.0, since LGPL 3 is GPL 3.  Sure, I suppose the
> folks at Apache would be a little miffed at the one-way flow of code,
> but they did it to themselves (at fairly high cost of redundant
> development, too).

If you take a look at R.C.Weir venting off in the comment section of
basically every publication delivering a LibreOffice release
announcement, that "a little miffed" is not a mere hypothetical.

David Kastrup

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