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(CC to d-legal; it's related, at least due to edict-el, and they're a
lot better at this topic than I am.)

Jim Breen <jwb@nexus.csse.monash.edu.au> wrote in

> Originally you couldn't charge for packaging it. But people were free
> to write shareware or commercial software, e.g. Unidict, then say "to
> use this you need to download EDICT which is free.". It was partly to
> regularize this that I changed the licence.

Does this prevent plain GPL software from using the EDICT?  I've seen GPL
software (ie. JFC) with an added "no commercial use" restriction.  (I hope
they know that if they do this, they're no longer GPL-compatible and so
can't link against GPL libraries.)  That makes any software using the EDICT
non-free, at least according to Debian.

Hmm.  "edict-el" in Debian appears to be GPL'd without any exceptions,
which would seem to put it in violation (since that means the program
can be used and sold commercially.)  It could end up being sold as part
of contrib.  (I'm somewhat curious on whether the EDICT license can
prevent things like the distribution of edict-el.  It uses it, but could
potentially be used with similarly-formatted databases, and the
distribution of edict-el seems to have nothing inherently related to

(Strictly speaking, it's in contrib, since it depends on a non-free

"Permission for such usage will normally be granted in return for a fee
based on a proportion of either the subscription charges."

Of either the subscription charges or what?

> (I had trouble convincing RMS that non-software didn't really fit under
> the GPL.)

Of course, you'll have people everything from "the GPL does apply to
non-software" to "databases and documentation *are* software.  Regardless
of this, it seems obvious that the *principles* of the GPL can easily apply
to documentation and databases.  (Yet others will debate the value of
doing that.)

I'm curious why you'd have tried to convince RMS of this: it seems clear
you don't want the EDICT to be freely used commercially, and the GPL
would allow this.  I suppose you could apply a license that allows
commercial use in free software, and alternative, fee-based terms for
proprietary software.  (That is, alternative GPLish-or-no-commercial-use
licensing.)  That could probably get EDICT into Debian, which is
currently in non-free.

Glenn Maynard

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