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

>> Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> writes:

 > >  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"

LOL!  I know what the GPL is.  I'm trying to explain some
misconceptions about it that have come over and over again on the
mailing list of my former LUG, namely, that everything on Linux has to
be GPLed, the KDE affair, what does "GPL compatible" mean, and in
general, why you can't change someone else's copyright at will (this
has came up on to ocassions, one, when Debian GNU/FreeBSD was
discussed, and a second one related to KDE), etc.  The problem is I
have to explain this in Spanish, and I have to start with the name
itself.  I've always thought it's funny to be able to read "GPL" in
two ways (with two, IMHO, rather different meanings), and I was
wondering if I was asleep on the particular day my English teacher
explained something that might be related to this.  I thought the
solution might lie on an "accepted (legal) interpretation" for the
whole phrase.  Is there such a thing?  I asked RMS once about this.
He had no comment.

 > 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.

Ok...  let me put it in another way: are the any common phrases in
English that might be somehow related to this particular wording?  Or
yet in another way: is there a specific legal meaning for "public
license"?  If yes, how is this meaning changed by saying "General
(Public License)"?  Or yet antoher: what would "(General Public)
License" mean?  Who is /not/ part of the "general public"?



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