Permission to use portions of the recent GNU Emacs Manual
fw at deneb.enyo.de
Sun Dec 12 14:49:53 EST 2004
* David Kastrup:
> Well, ok, so we just substituted one idea I don't like with another
> one. So what terms in the old licence were GPL-incompatible?
For reference, the old license was:
This file documents the GNU Emacs editor.
Copyright (C) 1985, 1986, 1988, 1992 Richard M. Stallman.
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of
this manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice
are preserved on all copies.
Permission is granted to process this file through Tex and print the
results, provided the printed document carries copying permission
notice identical to this one except for the removal of this paragraph
(this paragraph not being relevant to the printed manual).
Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this
manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided also that the
sections entitled ``The GNU Manifesto'', ``Distribution'' and ``GNU
General Public License'' are included exactly as in the original, and
provided that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the
terms of a permission notice identical to this one.
Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this manual
into another language, under the above conditions for modified versions,
except that the sections entitled ``The GNU Manifesto'',
``Distribution'' and ``GNU General Public License'' may be included in a
translation approved by the author instead of in the original English.
Those invariant sections are GPL incompatible because they restrict
modification in a rather drastic way.
I don't really think that invariant sections are a good solution. If
I don't want my users to read them, I can modify the Info viewer to
hide them (or replace them with texts of my own), without actually
changing the manual itself.
> And, putting back the XEmacs manual problem for a moment, do we have a
> reasonable chance to place the GPL on the manual source code in a
> sensible way, without causing insurmountable problems for printed
In theory, one could dual-license it. However, this might undermine
some goals of the GNU FDL.
> Since this problem does not seem restricted to GNU Emacs and its
> printed manual, is there a more appropriate list where we could try
> discussing how to cope with the general problem that gets exhibited
There are already ongoing deliberations between the Debian Project and
the FSF which deal with a very similar topic: the fact that the GNU
FDL is definitely *not* a free software license (software in the sense
of machine-executable code). However, these discussions seem to be
stuck for some reason.
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