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Re: repo criteria changes

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: repo criteria changes
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2021 20:32:05 -0400

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  > the new proposed A4 requires that the code-base permits
  > commercial distribution (given that "nonfree licenses" implies
  > the four freedoms) - but 

It is supposed to require free licenses for code and documentation,
and anything else that is meant to be used to do a practical job.

However, other files (for instance, licenses, statements of opinions,
art) may have licenses that don't allow modification, such as CC-ND.
So A4 should not apply to those files.

A4-1 says that even those files must at least permit noncommercial
redistribution of exact copies.

  > if "nonsharing licenses" only permit non-commercial distribution,
  > then the proposed A4-1 would allow non-commercial licenses in
  > the same code-base, which would taint the entire code-base from
  > being distributed commercially, as a whole

I don't follow that reasoning.  Maybe it's not clear to me what
scenario you have in mind.

A "nonsharing" license is one that prohibits even noncommercial
redistribution of exact copies.  If the copyright holder puts a copy
in a publicly accessible repo, that gives people permission to
download that repo; however, with a nonsharing license, they would not
be allowed to redistribute copies to others after downloading it.

Dr Richard Stallman (
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (
Founder, Free Software Foundation (
Internet Hall-of-Famer (

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