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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 14:44:33 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

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

> >>>>> "David" == David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:
>     David> "Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> writes:
>     >> conditions.  But a license _is_ required,
>     David> Not really.  It's just that without a licence, the
>     David> usefulness of the software would be less.
> The context clearly implies "required _to copy and distribute_".

Copyright law allows you making personal copies and distributing to a
computer on which you'd like to use it.

>     >>                         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.
>     David> This is incorrect.  It sounds like you can cherrypick.  But
>     David> you either have to accept the license as a whole, or
>     David> decline it.
> Substitute "You need not accept or decline the License at this time.
> At your option, at any time you may simply exercise those additional
> rights, which implies acceptance."
> Of course cherrypicking is OK.  You may choose to exercise any, all,
> or none of the options the GPL offers.  They don't constrain each
> other as far as I can tell.

I can redistribute but don't need to heed that I need to include the
source code?  Hardly.

>     >> 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.
>     David> That is wrong.  You need to follow the terms of a licence
>     David> only if you have agreed to a licence (that's why there is
>     David> such a joke like click-through licences).
> Read Clause 5, please: distribution constitutes acceptance.  If this
> needs to be spelled out precisely, then most of Clause 5 would have to
> be reiterated, making the value of a summary questionable.

It is not the purpose of the summary to state incorrectly what can be
read more fully.  It's perfectly fine to just keep out points from a
summary or refer to the full version.  But one should avoid stating
misleading things.

> (It's already too bulky.)  Just reduce the whole summary to:
> ========================================================================
>                                Summary
> Under copyright law, you are free to run this copy of GNU Emacs.

Actually, not even that is true.  If I steal some Linux CD's
including only free software, I don't acquire the right to run the
software.  If I steal an internal version derived from Emacs from a
company's server, it is illegal for me to run the stolen software or
redistribute it.

How about:

Copyright law regulates what you can do with a copy of software you
legally acquired unless you agreed to additional licensing terms.
While you don't need to agree to the GPL in order to run Emacs or make
copies for personal use, you lose nothing by agreeing, since that just
gives you additional rights.

> BTW, if click-through is a joke, I hate to think what you'd call the
> GPL.  It doesn't even offer you a chance to click.

Right.  And it does not need to.  Since it makes it optional whether
you want to agree to the licence or not.  You can claim "Clicking
some stupid button on a computer does not constitute legally binding

But the GPL does not have to rely on such stupidities because it does
not restrict what copyright allows you, but extends it.  Not agreeing
buys you nothing.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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