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Re: One unclear point in the Vim license

Thomas -

> 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.

The Vim license also doesn't require you keep the source code forever.

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

The GPL requires you to make the source code available to every user.
That's quite bit stickier, in my opinion.  For most companies that means
they can't make money on their software.  That's the main disadvantage of
using the GPL and the main reason commercial software companies don't
like the GPL.  I always run into this problem when writing software
which isn't supposed to be published.  You can't use any parts of GPL
software then.  I do want to allow this with the Vim sources (after
negotiating this with me).

> > 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.

Neither the GPL nor the Vim license explicitly require you to keep the
changes around.  Only in specific cases you might have to keep a copy
as a consequence of choices you make.  With the GPL you also get into
this situation if you give someone only the executable.  Then you need
to allow the user to get the source code later, thus you need to keep a

> 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.  

When someone vanishes I can't ask them for the changes, right?  Or hit
them on the head because he didn't follow the rules of the license.  So
this is irrelevant.

> > 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.

If you don't want to explain your point then it doesn't make sense to
continue this discussion.  You didn't mention the part of the DFSG that
the Vim license would not meet.

- Bram

DINGO: Wicked wicked Zoot ... she is a bad person and she must pay the
       penalty.  And here in Castle Anthrax, we have but one punishment
       ... you must tie her down on a bed ... and spank her.  Come!
GIRLS: A spanking!  A spanking!
                 "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" PYTHON (MONTY) PICTURES LTD

 ///  Bram Moolenaar -- Bram@moolenaar.net -- http://www.moolenaar.net  \\\
(((   Creator of Vim -- http://vim.sf.net -- ftp://ftp.vim.org/pub/vim   )))
 \\\  Help me helping AIDS orphans in Uganda - http://iccf-holland.org  ///

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