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Re: Legal questions about some GNU Emacs files



On Sun, Apr 27, 2003 at 10:46:47AM +0200, Jérôme Marant wrote:
> jmarant@nerim.net (Jérôme Marant) writes:
> 
> 
> >> take some time to deal with, but it's not remotely difficult.
> >
> > How should we proceed? Should we contact RMS directly?
> > Should a RC bug be opened? Note that we've been shipping theses
> > files for quite a while now.
> 
> Hmm, aren't Verbatim texts a special case? I mean that they
> cannot be considered as documentation and you're not likely
> to modify them I think.

No.  The special case is the license-which-applies-to-the-work.  Debian
has traditionally always tolerated such things being nonmodifiable.  If
we didn't, we wouldn't have much left to distribute.

Under my proposed interpretation of the DFSG, however, we could not
distribute the GNU GPL in main *except* as a
license-which-applies-to-the-work.  For a real-world case where this
matters, see the GNU Emacs Manual or the GNU C Library Reference Manual.
The entire text of the GNU GPL is marked as an Invariant Section even
though the GNU GPL itself doesn't actually have anything to do with
those works (they are licensed under the GNU FDL, and in days of old
they were licensed under what I call the "traditional GNU documentation
license", with riders implementing an early form of Invariant Section
restrictions).

-- 
G. Branden Robinson                |    One man's theology is another man's
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    belly laugh.
branden@debian.org                 |    -- Robert Heinlein
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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