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Re: May I publish a Windows Installer for GNU Emacs?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: May I publish a Windows Installer for GNU Emacs?
Date: 17 Sep 2003 00:27:44 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

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

> >>>>> "rms" == Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:
>     rms> A message in that tone is not a constructive contribution to
>     rms> deciding what we should do.
> OK, here's a contructive version.
> Paraphrase: Make sure that the dialog itself makes clear that use of
> Emacs is entirely free under copyright law.  While to those in the
> know, "Thanks!" and "I knew that!" are cute, the GNU GPL _is_ a legal
> document.  Its purpose is likely to be quite unclear to the
> uninitiated.  Those labels will occasionally be taken as a bad, if
> well-intended, joke of uncertain meaning.

Pity.  I like that, but then I am biased to my own jokes.

> Note that the GPL *is* a license, although not an "agreement".
> Without it, the user may not make copies, which we consider a natural
> part of ordinary usage.  Granted, most people will just burn a CD
> containing the whole distribution, and thus trivially satisfy the
> conditions.  But a license _is_ required,

Not really.  It's just that without a licence, the usefulness of the
software would be less.


>                                Summary
> Under copyright law, you are free to run this copy of GNU Emacs.  The
> following General Public License states and protects additional rights
> that you possess.  You need not accept or decline the License; you
> simply exercise those rights, as defined in the License, at your
> option.

This is incorrect.  It sounds like you can cherrypick.  But you
either have to accept the license as a whole, or decline it.

>   In case of modification, we add more complex restrictions to ensure
> that all users can exercise these rights.  According to law, if you
> redistribute copies of the software, verbatim or modified, you must
> follow the terms of the License.

That is wrong.  You need to follow the terms of a licence only if you
have agreed to a licence (that's why there is such a joke like
click-through licences).

Copyright law defaults to allowing you to pass on or sale your own
acquired copy of an acquired piece of copyrighted material.  Only
additional copies are not permitted to be circulated, unless you have
negotiated a licence permitting it.

And so on.  It's a nice idea to write some brief explanation to a
legal document, but if one does, it takes quite a lot of checking to
make sure one does not tell people something wrong.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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