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Re: Respect for Upstream Authors and Snippets of Interest

On 2003-09-28, Barak Pearlmutter <barak@cs.may.ie> wrote:
> About the "README" offer you allude to, do you really think an
> upstream author's statement:
>  Copyright blah blah blah ...
>  Distributed under the GNU GPL v2 ...
>  Source licenses for inclusion of this code in proprietary programs
>  are available from the author for $10,000 plus 2% of gross sales.
> is modifiable?  Removable sure.  Maybe appendable.  But modifiable?
> How can it be changed?  Do you think Debian could just change the 2%
> to a 0.5%?  Maybe give a discount to non-profits?  When we talk about
> code being modifiable, that's what we mean: the ability to change it
> in arbitrary ways.  Here, no changes are in fact possible, however you
> read the license and such.

I would take it at its word: it is licensed under the GPL.  Of course,
Debian would not misrepresent the upstream author (and it may well be
illegal for other reasons, unrelated to copyright), so we would not
change the text of the upstream author's message; but we could, for
instance, freely prepare a translation (while stating that it is a
translation).  I'm sure there are some examples of packages currently
in Debian with a README originally written in Japanese where we do
just that.  Note that a translation is a derived work and would be
illegal if the README were under the standard "all rights reserved"

	Dylan Thurston

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