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Re: One unclear point in the Vim license

Bram Moolenaar <Bram@moolenaar.net> writes:

> No, the license doesn't say forever.

It has no time limit, does it?

> The easiest way to avoid this is to send me the changes before
> destroying them.  Then you no longer need to keep a copy.  And yes, if
> you distribute a modified version of Vim, the person making the changes
> is responsible for making those changes available.  The GPL also
> requires it in this situation, since the person you gave the modified
> version may request a copy of the sources.  Quote:
> "You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code."

The GPL does not require that you keep the source code forever.  When
I give a copy to my friend, I have finished all my responsibilities.
I have no requirement to keep a copy, or know how to get in touch with
my friend next year.

It also does not require that I send the changes to the maintainer.
That's the sticking point.

> If you provide the source code with the modified program, but the
> receiver loses it, he may ask for it again.  It's not clear to me if the
> GPL requires if the source code must still be available then.  Would be
> hard to prove that you did supply the source code at all.  Anyway, this
> quickly goes into an irrelevant direction.

Not in the GPL.  But it's not irrelevant--it's precisely the point.
The GPL does not require you to keep the thing around potentially
forever just in case.  Your license does.  Whether that's your
intention or not is quite beside the point: we must follow the
license, and not what you say the intention is.

> That is irrelevant, because everybody can ignore a message that isn't
> personal.  Can't blame anybody who would not respond.

The license doesn't say that.  

> > > - The person who did the changes has died.  No idea what happens then,
> > >   hopefully we will never encounter this situation.
> > 
> > Why, because people don't die?  People die, go missing, vanish, close
> > up shop, etc., all the time.  Sometimes computers even fail when huge
> > buildings fall to the ground due to airliner impact.
> This is becoming a bit rediculous...

Um, no.  You don't want to consider these cases, but they are
precisely the cases that an organization like Debian must consider.
Upstream sources of software go away all the time.  Debian developers
go away.  People vanish.  

> Well, this was discussed before and the Vim license was considered
> DFSG-free software then.  We were only changing the precise wordings,
> not the intention of the license, so this would still be the same.  You
> better explain exactly why this license would make Vim not be DFSG-free
> software and what has changed since the last time.

I can't address the past.

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