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Re: SRFI copyright license

On Wed, Dec 24, 2003 at 10:06:10PM +0100, Lionel Elie Mamane wrote:

> I wish to get your opinions on the case of the reference
> implementations in the SRFI's.

I have done some more digging around the issue. Several scheme
implementations in Debian main contain code lifted from SRFI
implementations, and several of those reference implementations are
covered by the standard SRFI copyright license (others are covered by
a different, clearly DFSG-free license, like those by Olin Shivers,
like SRFI 1). One particular example of such a scheme implementation
is Guile, which contains SRFI 19. The case of guile is exemplary,
because it is an official GNU project. I have contacted the
maintainers about this (in the case of guile, he happens to be the
listed author of the file in the guile sources) and asked them to
contribute to this discussion.

The fact that some reference implementations are covered by a
different license than the SRFI copyright is a hint that to SRFI
authors themselves, the SRFI copyright isn't free (enough), or not
intended for code at all.

On the other hand, it looks like standard practice in the scheme
community to consider the SRFI copyright as 'do what you want' when
applied to code.


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