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Re: snippets [was Re: begging the question]

Nathanael Nerode  wrote:

> Barak Pearlmutter wrote:
> >The phrasing of almost all license boilerplate
> >(eg the GPL boilerplate) allows them.

> Nothing licensed under the GPL can be non-modifiable.  So I'm not sure
> what you mean by this....

Okay, it's a rather technical point.

If you look at the GPL's boilerplate, ie the stuff in the instructions
at the bottom of /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-2 that you're supposed
to paste into your own program when you release it under the GPL

>    This ***PROGRAM** is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
>    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by

or have your employer sign if they hold the copyright

>   Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the ***PROGRAM***
>   `Gnomovision' (which makes passes at compilers) written by James Hacker.

(emphasis mine, of course) you'll notice it refers to the "program".
So these do not imply that "snippets" in the tarball are under the
GPL, because they aren't in fact part of the program.  In other words,
it is not a contradiction to put my canonical
README.sister.cancer.molbio in the tarball with a biosequence
alignment program which is GPLed with all the usual boilerplate,
because the boilerplate only applies to the program itself (broadly
construed of course) and not a snippet like README.sister.molbio.


(I'm including this to try and keep the discussion on-topic, so fewer
people will go off on strange irrelevant rants about xroach and such.)

*** A "snippet" is a file in a source tarball which:
***  - MERELY ACCOMPANIES and is not an integral part of the source
***  - is REMOVABLE
***  - is NON-FUNCTIONAL (not code, not documentation, not needed for build)
***  - is NON-TECHNICAL in nature
***  - is usually of historic, humorous, or prurient interest
***  - is usually NOT itself MODIFIABLE, eg "may redistribute verbatim"
***  - is very SMALL compared to the technical material it accompanies
*** (examples of such snippets are historic or humorous emails and
*** usenet posts and the like.)

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