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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2015 10:20:19 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Jacob Bachmeyer <address@hidden> writes:

> Richard Stallman wrote:
>> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
>> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
>> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>> The situation with Emacs will be the same as it is with GCC now:
>> plug-ins have to be GPL.
> This illuminates the central question at hand:  if an Emacs plugin is
> GPL, and provides access to internals of GCC, which is also GPL, can
> nonfree software use that Emacs plugin?

That's not the central question at hand.  The central question is: if an
Emacs plugin can provide access to internals of GCC, what keeps nonfree
software from using the same mechanism as the Emacs plugin to get access
to internals of GCC?

If you combine Emacs and GCC, there will be one point where Emacs ends
and GCC begins.  And that is the point where you can swap out either for
a nonfree application without getting copyright involved, since GCC and
Emacs are clearly independent applications.

The price for interoperation is interoperation.  And since it is rather
more than less important for free as opposed to proprietary software
that independent teams can create cooperating applications, I don't see
that it makes sense for us not to pay that price.  And the latest point
to which we can delay this is when a concrete application is imminent.

We can't guarantee that such an application will be successful if we
allow it.  But it will definitely fail if we don't.

David Kastrup

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