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[Glenn Maynard (EDICT, GPL) writes:]
>> Jim Breen <jwb@nexus.csse.monash.edu.au> wrote in
>> news:aa2hh0$3k8$2@towncrier.cc.monash.edu.au: 

[This was on the sci.lang.japan newsgroup, and concerned some shareware
MacOSX software that used the EDICT/KANJDIC/etc. Japanese dictionary
files I have compiled.]

>> > 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?  

Not at all. My own xjdic is GPLed. It's in /debian/pool/contrib/x/xjdic
among other places.

>> 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.)  

I've seen that comment which Glenn Rosenthal added on the JFC page after
he quotes the GPL text. He actually says ".. without the explicit permission
of the respective copyright holder(s)."

>> That makes any software using the EDICT
>> non-free, at least according to Debian.

I have heard that Debian has problems with this approach. Of course xjdic
doesn't *need* EDICT; it can use any Japanese/English file in the right
format. As far as I am concerned the software and its data are decoupled
in this case.

>> 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
>> EDICT.)

Exactly. edict-el and xjdic are in the same boat. I see edict-el is in
/contrib too.

>> Aside, 
>> "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?

Sorry, that "either" is a left-over from a earlier version.

>> > (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.)

Up to a point. The problem with putting a data file under the GPL is that
a dataset is probably far enough off from the program source of a program
that accesses it that the "you must release the source" dictum may not
be supportable.

>> 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.

The issue came up years ago with RMS, and has been touched on a few times
since. The problem is that a lot of contributors provided data which was
their IP on the condition of no commercial exploitation. I have got
agreement that that be extended to the sort of non-exclusive licence for
commercial use.

I have given Debian and other Linux distros full permission to include 
EDICT, etc. free-of-charge. If they doesn't want to take it up, it's not my



Jim Breen  [j.breen@csse.monash.edu.au  http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/]
Computer Science & Software Engineering,                Tel: +61 3 9905 3298
P.O Box 26, Monash University,                          Fax: +61 3 9905 5146
Clayton VIC 3800, Australia      ジム・ブリーン@モナシュ大学

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