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off-topic discussion about permissions and promises

Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net>:

> > My point exactly. A typical free software licence does not constrain
> > the future behaviour of the licenser. It's not a promise.
> My point is that it *is* a promise: By licencing my work under GPL, I
> promise to the world at large that anyone who subjects himself to
> certain conditions will in return be able to (automatically) obtain my
> permission to copy that particular work, and works derived for it.

Do you have any arguments to support your claim that a licence is a
promise to give permission rather than the permission itself?

Also, if the licence is not permission, what does constitute
permission, in your opinion, and how could I verify that permission
has been given as promised?

Also, how do you explain the way that licences are worded? Typially
yhey talk about "permission" and "permitted", but they don't mention


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