Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
Then legally all your downstreams are on shaky ground in
I don't know what you mean by downstream. Debian or Ubuntu? I'm sure
they know what to do about this, better than I do.
It is representative, though. Most distributors of free software
really pirates at heart, and play fast and loose with licensing
minutiae. When Emacs itself was relicensed, they discovered a couple
of dozen problems, despite decades of care with licensing.
Arrrh, walk the plank GPL!! :o) Seriously, what piracy is taking place
here? We have 3 docs generated by OpenOffice. There are also 3 script
files created with XEmacs. Does that mean I have to GPL the 3 scripts
That depends in general. Since OOo is open source, no, not the OOo
license. Output of a program is not restricted by open source
Maybe I get your point. So, if I'm creating a text file for my own
use with XEmacs, then I don't have to GPL it. But, if I'm creating
free software, then I do. I can buy that, but it certainly
is not piracy for ESS to release files that have no license (if so, then
the SUMO gang are a Motley Crew, aiih matey).
Let's say somebody wants to sell the 3 script files that were generated
with XEmacs, but have no license. Now, that's priacy! Is the FSF going
to fight them in court? Maybe, maybe not, but I'm not going to lose
sleep over the possibility either way. The ESS developers did the right
thing in releasing the scripts (otherwise, ESS[BUGS] would not work for
them and there would be no point in releasing it at all).
If you use the typical GPL permission "ESS is free software
GPL" in most project files, then any files lacking explicit notice of
license somewhere in the project documentation are implicitly under
GPL, unless they are generated and the sources are under a different
copyleft, in which case the source's license would rule.
> But, what do you do about .doc files which are binary?
The .doc file format admits metadata; Microsoft being strong supporter
of intellectual property rights, I'm sure a copyright notice can be
placed in a doc file, both as metadata and (obviously) as part of the
text to be displayed to readers.
Well, I can't believe that you used Microsoft as exhibit A in an
argument about free software stewardship! Now, I've heard everything. :o)
Isn't it obvious? We're dealing with restrictive licenses,
obey those licenses as a matter of principle. In the case of
FSF-owned software, we need to be especially careful since RMS has no
love for us, and the FSF has proved itself willing to bully people
into submission by threatening them with court action even when it has
a weak legal case.
Well, I wouldn't say obvious. So, if you are saying that we want
to fix all of these files to be in compliance with GPL3, that makes
sense. But, at the same time it is contradictory, since you are not
really following GPL2 by this reasoning. However, I am enlightened by
this discussion. I'm going to be more careful about licensing
everything WITHIN REASON. I'll shut up now. Thanks.
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