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Re: Is XEmacs nonfree?

There are two things:

- copyright (who owns it?)
- licence (what can I do with it?)

Debian is only concerned with the second point.

On Thursday 30 September 1999, at 0 h 54, the keyboard of David Coe 
<david.coe@someotherplace.org> wrote:

>   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. 

It is very ancient rms' opinion: the FSF asks you to yield the copyright to 
them, because they fear the GPL is not a sufficient warranty, before a court. 
They think that, if someone keeps the copyright, he could switch a GPL 
software to proprietary. In essence, it means you should blindly trust the FSF 
instead of blindly trusting Linus Torvalds or any other copyright holder.

For the man page of emacsclient (less than a page in print!), I had to send a 
signed paper document to the FSF giving up my copyright :-( (BTW, in France, 
and in most European countries, this will not be accepted.)

Apart from rms, everybody thinks that a program can be GPL even if the 
copyright does not belong to the FSF. The Linux kernel, for instance, whose 
copyright is from its many contributors.

>   worked on XEmacs have not provided, and have not asked other
>   contributors to provide, the legal papers to help us enforce the
>   GPL. 

Pure FUD.

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