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Re: [OT] What does 'General Public License' mean?

Scripsit "Marcelo E. Magallon" <mmagallo@debian.org>

>  What does 'General Public License' mean?  Is it 'General' + 'Public
>  License' or is it 'General Public' + 'License'?

Both are possible, and it is conceivable that RMS liked the ambiguity
whan he picked the term.

>  Does the phrase as a whole have a specific legal or commonly
>  accepted meaning?

It is a commonly used name for the document whose full name is
"GNU General Public License" and which describes the licensing
terms that apply to most software copyrighted by the Free Software
Foundation (in addition to a lot of other software).

It is customary to drop the "GNU" when talking about it, or just
refer to the document as simply "the GPL".

Using the phrase "general public license" when referring to anything
else than that particular document would be silly, because many
readers are going to assume you mean that one.

Other licenses which are in some senses similar to the GPL frequently
call themselves "public license" but not "general".

Henning Makholm                    "They want to be natural, the anti-social
                                 little beasts. They just don't realize that
                         everyone's good depends on everyone's cooperation."

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