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Re: [Ilisp-devel] Re: Bug#169243: ilisp: Is it even distributable?

> From: Peter S Galbraith <psg@debian.org>
> Cc: 169243@bugs.debian.org, ilisp-devel@lists.sourceforge.net,
>    debian-legal@lists.debian.org
> Organization: Debian GNU/Linux - www.debian.org
> Sender: ilisp-devel-admin@lists.sourceforge.net
> X-Original-Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 12:39:04 -0500
> Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 12:39:04 -0500
> X-UIDL: 3)g"!R5=!!Qg:"!ic%"!
> Kevin Rosenberg <kevin@rosenberg.net> wrote:
> > Peter,
> > 
> > Thanks for message. I've forwarded your message to ilisp-devel for
> > their consideration as well as debian-legal. ILISP has been an
> > important part of Lisp development for many years, so it is essential
> > to clarify the issue completely. 
> > 
> > Of course, I think it is the hope of all that ILISP's license can
> > become DSFG compliant.
> Thanks for not getting upset at the messenger.
> I'm surprised that the authors didn't simply start off using the GPL
> since it appears that they wanted the code to become part of Emacs down
> the road.  The best way to accomplish such a goal is to start off using
> the GPL, assign copyright to the FSF (and sign the paperwork), and
> accept patches only when the contributor is also willing to sign the
> paperwork.  It's tedious, but changing licenses later in the game is
> difficult when multiple contributors are involved.

Not only its' tedious.  It is an impossibility for ILISP.

I had the very same discussion with RMS many years ago, when I took
ove maintaince of ILISP.  The impossibility of contacting all the
previous authors and contributors is a major stumbling block.

> It's possible that some people won't see loading Emacs code as loading a
> library.  Emacs is an interpreter after all.  For my part, I think that
> using only Emacs builtins might be okay, but using elisp code crosses
> the line.  Unfortunately, the FSF doesn't specifically say anywhere what
> license elisp code (that load other Emacs code) must use.  Even RMS
> hasn't really thought about the issue.

So.  In the case of ILISP, why not take a pragmatic live and let live


PS. Note that the Italian attitude toward lawyers is less ambiguous
    that the Anglo-Saxon one.  There is no possible misquote of
    Manzoni as there is of Shakespeare :)

Marco Antoniotti ========================================================
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                           Bill Murray in `Ghostbusters'.

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