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Re: Org schemas we talked to be non-free, was: [ELPA] New package: repol

From: Ulrich Mueller
Subject: Re: Org schemas we talked to be non-free, was: [ELPA] New package: repology.el
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 2021 21:36:54 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.1.50 (gnu/linux)

>>>>> On Sun, 24 Jan 2021, Eli Zaretskii wrote:

>> > Only a special class of derivative works can be distributed freely,
>> > and it sounds like some of these would fall under "fair use" anyway.
>> > Certainly this isn't enough to qualify as a free software license?
>> > 
>> >    However, this document itself may not be modified in any way,
>> >             ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> >    including by removing the copyright notice or references to OASIS,
>> >    except as needed for the purpose of developing any document or
>> >    deliverable produced by an OASIS Technical Committee (in which case
>> >    the rules applicable to copyrights, as set forth in the OASIS IPR
>> >    Policy, must be followed) or as required to translate it into
>> >    languages other than English.
>> Then it is not free.

> Forgive me for a possibly naïve question, but why on earth would you
> want to modify a schema?

I think the core question isn't if the files can be modified, but if
their license allows including them with a free software package.
At least if you apply the usual criteria mechanically, I believe the
answer would be "no".

> It's the same as modifying a physical law.  Would you say that E = mc²
> is "non-free" because it cannot be meaningfully modified at will?

That's an awful analogy. For example, you can modify (i.e. generalise)
the formula to E² = p²c² + m²c⁴ for an object with nonzero momentum. :-)

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