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Re: draft for new Vim license

Richard Stallman wrote:

>     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.
> That might work--I'd have to see the precise wording before I could say.

This is in the new draft:

       e) When the GNU General Public License applies to the changes, you can
          distribute the modified Vim under the GNU General Public License.

I'll send out a new draft when some other issues are cleared up.  Mostly
about the requirement to give a message about the modified version.

Another issue is what happens when some changes are GPL'ed and some are
not.  I have to check that this is covered by the license somehow.

>     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.
> I am very surprised by this statement, because the central point of
> your current license seems to be to make sure that you can get any
> changes and incorporate them into Vim.

There are two requirements that conflict:
- I want people to be free to use Vim in any way they like.
- I want to prevent someone to add something to Vim and make money with
  it, while it's still mostly my work.

In the old license I required the privelige to include changes back into
Vim.  That should prevent the unwanted situation, since you can't make
money from a modified Vim if the same thing can be done with the
official Vim.  But the requirement is a problem who want to keep their
changes a secret, e.g., in a small group of people.  The GPL and Debian
also demand this to be possible.  The new license tries to solve that.

>     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.
> Now I am really confused, because this seems to reaffirm the views
> which I thought you held--precisely what you denied in the previous
> paragraph.
> I think we are having communication difficulties.

Don't forget that there are conflicting demands.  I have to find a
balance between them.

The problem is that people who put the GPL on their changes and
distribute them to the world will think they do the right thing.  If
they don't know the details they will think everybody can use their
changes.  But in fact they are making it difficult for me to include the
changes.  It conflicts with the first requirement, in the way that I'm
not free to include the changes back into Vim.

Every exit is an entrance into something else.

 ///  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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