Re: draft for new Vim license
Richard Stallman wrote:
> 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 is a free software license, and I think it is better than the
> current Vim license. So I encourage you to switch to this license.
> It is not GPL-compatible, though, because of a few details.
Thanks for looking into this. It appears we are getting towards a point
that satisfies more people.
> 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.
> The GPL has a similar kind of requirement, but this is more specific,
> hence not GPL-compatible.
That can be fixed. This isn't an important part (the previous Vim
license didn't include this at all).
> 3) The modified Vim must be distributed in one of the following four ways:
> It's sufficient if one of these ways, or a combination of them, allows
> what the GPL allows. However, that is not so.
> 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
> This clearly isn't GPL-compatible (and isn't trying to be).
> c) Provide the changes, including source code, with every copy of the
> modified Vim you distribute.
> I think this is trying to be GPL-compatible, but does not succeed.
> The reason is that this is somewhat more restrictive than the GPL
> actually is.
> If you want to make this license GPL-compatible, the easiest way is by
> making two changes: first, add an alternative 3e which specifically
> allows release under the GPL, and second, change 2 a little so it
> isn't more specific than what the GPL requires.
Hmm, I could add a 3e, which explicitly says that distribution under the
GPL is allowed, but only if the changes are also under the GPL license.
That would at least solve the problem of linking with the GPM library.
> The question is what licenses I could use for modified versions of
> Vim. Specifically, could I release a modified version of Vim under
> the GPL? A license is GPL-compatible if it permits that; otherwise,
> it is not GPL-compatible.
> If I am required to use a license which permits you to rerelease my
> changes under the Vim license, then the GPL does not qualify (since it
> does not permit that), so the requirement is incompatible with the
No, my intention is not to require changed or added code to fall under
the Vim license. That's actually a part of the GPL that I'm trying to
avoid. People should be free to chose a license for the code they
write (with some conditions to protect other freedom).
I do try to stimulate people to make changes that I can include in the
official Vim release. This does require that these changes use the Vim
license. But this isn't a requirement. If someone wants to make
changes that he doesn't want me to include in Vim, that should be
possible. But it should be discouraged in some way. I'm doing that by
requiring the changes to be distributed as source code.
If I include 3e, distribution being allowed under the GPL, the remaining
problem is that if someone makes changes to Vim and puts the GPL on
those changes, I can't include the changes back into the official Vim,
because it would mean 3e applies to Vim as a whole and the rest of the
license is worthless. I will have to think about this, and ask Vim
developers what they think of it.
Life is a gift, living is an art. (Bram Moolenaar)
/// 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 ///