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Re: Some hard numbers on licenses used by elisp packages

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Some hard numbers on licenses used by elisp packages
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2017 15:06:13 -0400

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    > - failure: The licensing terms are specified somehow.  But my tools
    >   cannot detect that.  In some cases that is a failure of my tools,
    >   in other cases it is a failure to specify the terms in a way that
    >   could possibly be detected automatically.

It is good that many of the unknowns are "failures", because the
"failure" is actually is a superficial problem and we can fix it on
our own.

If, on careful study, we can see that the authorss of package P tried
to say it was under license L, we can edit the text of the package so
make that same statement in the recommended and clear way.

We don't need to ask specially for permission to do this, because this
change follows the authors' stated licensing decision.  It presents
their decision in a more visible way.

    > - none: Looking at the package for half a minute did not reveal any
    >   license of permission statement.

These cases are the hard problems.

  > * I have contacted nearly all of the authors of packages that appear to
  >   not specify a license.  These packages are being identified below by
  >   the pseudo license "pending".

Thank you.  That's exactly what needs to be done.

  > Responses - all positive - have started to dribble in.

This is good news.  When the authors say they want to add a license,
anyone can do the editing to add it.  That's lawful because it is
carrying out the authors' wishes.

However, we cannot take for granted that all will say yes or that we
will succeed in reaching them all.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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