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Re: draft for new Vim license

On Fri, Jan 04, 2002 at 11:08:55AM +0100, Bram Moolenaar wrote:
> > >     You are also allowed to include executables that you made from the
> >                    ^^^^^^^    ^^^^^^^
> >                    permitted  distribute
> Does "allowed" and "permitted" mean something different?

No, but "permitted" is, I think, more customary for documents of this
sort.  It's a nuance, and if you don't adopt that change I don't think
you will be hurting the meaning of the license any.

> > > 	  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.
> > 
> > Uh, I think that asking people to use a license that does not restrict
> > future official Vim distributions in any way is making an impossible
> > demand.  They cannot know what license may be placed on Vim in the
> > future.
> > 
> > Can I suggest this instead?
> > 
> > "You can choose what license to use for the changes you make, as long as
> > it does not restrict the ability of anyone to comply with this license
> > when they use a modified version of Vim that includes your changes."
> > 
> > That's basically what you mean, right?
> I'm not sure.  I would like to allow people to use any license for the
> new code that they write.  After all, it's their work.  But, at the same
> time I don't want this to result in "bad things":
> - A proprietary version of Vim being made available (or sold) to a large
>   audience.  Thus someone slightly modifiying Vim and making money from
>   it, without the possibility for me to get a chance to include the
>   changes in the official release.
> - That it would not be possible to re-implement the same functionality
>   and add it to the official Vim release (e.g., it should not be allowed
>   to patent a specific solution).

I don't think my paragraph permits the former.  I don't think either
license does the latter, since patent licenses are different from
copyright licenses.  I'm not aware of any existing free software license
that forbids people from applying for patents to their changes.

> At the same time it should be possible for a company to make some
> changes which they want to keep a secret and use that changed version
> only within the company.  The demand that the source code is available
> to everybody who uses this version should prevent the first of the above
> "bad things" from happening.  The idea is that a company that would try
> to sell a modified version of Vim for $$$ doesn't want to include the
> source code.  But the patent thing must be avoided by adding a remark to
> the license.  That's why I added the "does not restrict..." part.
> This is the tricky part of the new license!

I think both our paragraphs say the same thing, except mine does not
imply that the person who makes changes is expected to know the details
of all future Vim licenses.  :)

G. Branden Robinson                |     What influenced me to atheism was
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     reading the Bible cover to cover.
branden@debian.org                 |     Twice.
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- J. Michael Straczynski

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