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Re: [aspell-devel] Problems with aspell-en license

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On Sat, 19 Oct 2002, Brian Nelson wrote:

>Kevin Atkinson <kevina@gnu.org> writes:
>> On Sat, 19 Oct 2002, Brian Nelson wrote:
>>> I'm working on packaging the new upstream GNU/aspell, and I've
>>> discovered a problem with the (attached) license of the English
>>> dictionary.  The license, which is a mishmash of mostly free licenses,is
>>> not DFSG free as I understand it due to the DEC Word list license
>>> (beginning on line 134).
>> RMS said the word lists were OK.  Here is what he said to me.  You can 
>> email him for confirmation:
>>   I think it is safe for us to use those wordlists.  The person who 
>>   avoided texts marked "copyright" was operating under an erroneous idea 
>>   of how copyright law works, but if all he did with those texts was make
>>   word lists, this should not be a problem anyway.
>If these wordlists have been deemed free for any use, then the copyright
>should be changed.  To me, a license that states,
>  "To the best of my knowledge, all the files I used to build these
>  wordlists were available for public distribution and use, at least for
>  non-commercial purposes,"
>isn't a really license at all since it doesn't grant a user any clear
>rights.  IANAL, of course.

Actually it isn't a granting of right, but a Testimonial that those rights 
exist.  It means that you have recourse if sued to go after the one making 
the Testimony for your costs.  In Debian, a Testimony that rights exist 
has usually been enough to cover for a license, but the term "license" for 
that is rather ambiguous, I'd agree.


- -- 
Armageddon means never having to say you're sorry.

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