Re: Is XEmacs nonfree?
On Thu, Sep 30, 1999 at 12:54:32AM +0000, David Coe was heard to say:
> But in another sense it is not GNU software, because we can't use
> XEmacs in the GNU system: using it would mean paying a price in
> terms of our ability to enforce the GPL. Some of the people who have
> worked on XEmacs have not provided, and have not asked other
> contributors to provide, the legal papers to help us enforce the
> GPL. I have managed to get legal papers for some parts myself, but
> most of the XEmacs developers have not helped me get them.
> But this is worse than competition--it is unfair competition. The
> XEmacs developers can and do copy code they like from Emacs. If I
> could copy the code I like from XEmacs in the same way, at least the
> rivalry would be fair. But I can't do that't, because substantial
> parts of XEmacs don't have legal papers, or don't have known
> Is that still an accurate description of the legal status (from
> FSF's perspective) of XEmacs, and if so, shouldn't we move it to
It looks to me like he's not concerned with the free-ness of the XEmacs
code, but rather with the fact that it hasn't had its copyright assigned to
the FSF. He doesn't want to include non-FSF-copyrighted code in the main
Emacs branch, as I understand. I guess that would keep the FSF from defending
the copyright it in court. (?) Anyway, he seems to think so. :-/
"I've struggled with reality for thirty-five years, but I'm glad to say that
I finally won."