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Re: Legal questions about some GNU Emacs files

Scripsit Dylan Thurston <dpt@math.harvard.edu>

> Just one more comment: the versions of both of these two essays
> available on gnu.org (at http://www.gnu.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html and
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/why-free.html) have a slightly different
> license:

>   Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is
>   permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

> Notably, "without royalty" is missing.

That does not make any difference. Since the notice you quote does not
demand any royalty, no royalty is demanded. (It is phrased as an
unconditional permission to do foo, so it must be an unconditional
permission to do foo). The reason why people often write "without
royalty" in their free licenses is solely to clarify; it does not
change the legal contents of the license.

But you're right that none of the notices you quote describe DFSG-free
licensing terms. Feel free to join the ongoing quasiflamewar in the
LGPL thread about the degree to which we care about that in the case
of Stallman's essays.

Henning Makholm                      "The compile-time type checker for this
                           language has proved to be a valuable filter which
                      traps a significant proportion of programming errors."

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