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draft for new Vim license

I have attempted to add the possibility to allow people to distribute a
modified Vim, under the condition that they include the source code.
This makes it possible to distribute it in a (more or less) closed group
of people and not having to provide a copy to the maintainer (that's
me).  For example, it would be possible to distribute a modified version
of Vim within a company, so long as the sources are also available to
the people using this modified version of Vim.  Thus it's possible that
the changes are kept as a secret within that company.

Another possibility is that one person makes changes, passes this on
(including source code) to someone else, and this person does not pass
on the sources, but is willing to make them available when asked for.
This makes it possible to pass on the responsibility to send the
maintainer the source code to someone else (e.g., from an ad-hoc
programmer to a distributor).

I think this is quite liberal.  Perhaps a bit too much?

The text has gotten longer than I hoped for.  And there might still be a
"hole" somewhere, it's getting complicated.  Thus this is really a
draft, and I am not sure yet if I will want to use it for Vim.
Also, since this changes the intention of the license, I will have to
ask Vim contributors if they agree with this change.

Let me know if you have suggestions for improvement.



Vim is Charityware.  You can use and copy it as much as you like, but you are
encouraged to make a donation for needy children in Uganda.  Please see |iccf|
below or visit the ICCF web site (these are mirrors):


The Open Publication License applies to the Vim documentation, see


I)  There are no restrictions on distributing unmodified copies of Vim except
    that they must include this license text.  You can also distibute parts of
    Vim, likewise unrestricted except that they must include this license
    text.  You are also allowed to include executables that you made from the
    unmodified Vim sources, plus your own usage examples and Vim scripts.

II) It is allowed to distribute a modified version of Vim, with executables
    and/or source code, when the following four conditions are met:
    1) This license text must be included unmodified.
    2) A user of the modified Vim must be able to see that it was modified, at
       least in the version information and in the intro screen.
    3) The modified Vim must be distributed in one of the following four ways:
       a) If you make changes to Vim, you must clearly mention in the
	  distribution how to contact you.  When the maintainer asks you (in
	  any way) for a copy of the modified Vim you distributed, you must
	  make the changes, including source code, available to the
	  maintainer.  The maintainer reserves the right to include the
	  changes in the official version of Vim.  What the maintainer will do
	  with the changes and under what license they are distributed is
	  negotiable.  If there was no negotiation then this license also
	  applies to the changes.
	  The current maintainer is Bram Moolenaar <Bram@vim.org>.  If this
	  changes it will be announced in appropriate places (most likely
	  vim.sf.net, www.vim.org and/or comp.editors).  When it is completely
	  impossible to contact the maintainer, the obligation to send him the
	  changes ceases.  Once the maintainer has confirmed that he received
	  the changes they will not have to be send again.
       b) If you have received a modified Vim that was distributed as
	  mentioned under a) you are allowed to further distribute it
	  unmodified, as mentioned at I).  For additional changes the text
	  under a) applies again.
       c) Provide the changes, including source code, with every copy of the
	  modified Vim you distribute.  This may be done in the form of a
	  context diff.  You can chose what license to use for new code you
	  add, so long as it does not restrict present or future official Vim
	  distributions in any way.
       d) When you have a modified Vim which includes changes, as mentioned
	  under c), you can distribute it without the source code for the
	  changes if these conditions are met:
	  - The license that applies to the changes does not disallow you to
	    give the changes to the Vim maintainer and does not disallow the
	    maintainer to include the changes in the official version of Vim.
	  - You keep the changes for at least three years after last
	    distributing the modified Vim.  When the maintainer or someone who
	    you distributed the modified Vim to asks you (in any way) for the
	    changes within this period, you must make them available to him.
	  - You clearly mention in the distribution how to contact you within
	    at least three years after last distributing the modified Vim.
    4) The contact information as mentioned under 3) must not be removed or

If you distribute a modified version of Vim, you are encouraged to make it
available to the maintainer, including the source code.  The preferred way to
do this is by e-mail or by uploading the files to a server and e-mailing the
URL.  If the number of changes is small (e.g., a modified Makefile) e-mailing
a context diff will do.  The e-mail address to be used is <maintainer@vim.org>

It is not allowed to remove this license from the distribution of the Vim
sources, parts of it or from a modified version.  You may use this license for
previous Vim releases instead of the license that they came with, at your

=== end of license ===

ARTHUR:  Be quiet!
DENNIS:  --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--
ARTHUR:  Be quiet!  I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN:   Order, eh -- who does he think he is?
ARTHUR:  I am your king!
                                  The Quest for the Holy Grail (Monty Python)

 ///  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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