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Re: Lawyer's evaluation

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Lawyer's evaluation
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 19:58:42 +0900
User-agent: Gnus/5.1001 (Gnus v5.10.1) XEmacs/21.4 (Portable Code, linux)

>>>>> "Kim" == Kim F Storm <address@hidden> writes:

    Kim> What about combining things like this:

There are several good ideas here, but there are a couple of problems.

    Kim> "Free" means that all users have the freedom to study, share,
    Kim> change and improve Emacs.  In fact, you may freely use and
    Kim> modify Emacs for your own purposes without knowing any of the
    Kim> details of the GPL.

This is misleading; in order to modify Emacs you must accept the GPL.
Sure, you can accept it without knowing the details, but we don't want
to encourage that.

    Kim> However, once you distribute your changes to others, you
    Kim> should be aware that the conditions and rights in the GPL
    Kim> will extend to cover your changes as well, so before doing

In fact, it implies acceptance of the license.  That means we really
need to say that such distribution must follow the terms of the
license.  I don't see how that can happen if the user doesn't read it.

    Kim> so, you are strongly advised to read the license.

    Kim> Also, if you write and distribute an extension to Emacs in
    Kim> Emacs Lisp (the extension language used by Emacs), that
    Kim> extension will be covered by the GPL too, as running such an
    Kim> extension requires "linking" with Emacs.

This is true only if you put a strict interpretation on Emacs Lisp,
ie, those parts of Lisp that are unique to Emacs Lisp.  True, in
practice it's hard to imagine substantial Lisp applications that don't
do buffer I/O, etc, being written in Emacs Lisp, but it's possible.

I don't think it's a good idea to put debatable statements here, even
if they are pragmatically correct.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.

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