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Re: Lawyer's evaluation

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Lawyer's evaluation
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 08:06:32 -0400

        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.

The GPL doesn't put any limits on private modification, so this
is a distinction without practical consequences.

        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 is true.

                                                    That means we really
    need to say that such distribution must follow the terms of the

It might be desirable to say that.

              I don't see how that can happen if the user doesn't read it.

Maybe it can't, but please note that if the user has not accepted the
license, he is infringing the copyright by distributing without
authorization.  So this is not a real issue for us.

        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.

That is correct.  The statement would have to be at least somewhat modified.

Also, I agree that we should put this in the FAQ instead.

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