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Re: CeCILL again...

On Mon, Aug 23, 2004 at 02:39:22PM +0200, Nicolas CANIART wrote:
> > (Yes, the clause repeats itself; I have no idea why.)
> At http://cecill.info/faq.en.html#clarification parapraph 2, it is said 
> that this is a translation bug and it will be corrected in the "next
>  version" (no date given ...)

Noting licensing translation problems in a FAQ instead of actually fixing
them doesn't inspire confidence in these people (no more than the fact
that they put their licensing terms in PDF ...)

> It is also explained in the FAQ, but of course I don't think the FAQ has
> any legal value :-\
> GPL="It is the GNU General Public License in its current version at the
> time of the writing of CeCILL, i.e. version 2."

As long as it's from the copyright holders, I think it's safe to take this
as a license clarification.

> > 2: make sure that the French language version of this clause has no
> > problems.  You'll need to find somebody who can read French legalese.
> I do speak french, but actually not the same as french lawyers :), but
> I may be able to find some help...

Very few of us are lawyers, either.  We've just read a few licenses and
know a couple pitfalls to look out for.

> > This is also a more general issue: how do we deal with licenses that we
> > can't read, in the general case?  We assume that Debian users can read
> > English
> If english/american laws are written with the same french as french laws
> are, assuming that is a bit hazardous IMHO.

I'm not sure what you meant, here.  If you're saying that licenses can
be hard to read even for native speakers, you're right; but there's
nothing we can do about that.

> Personnaly i speak enough english to understand and use software but I'm
> not shure I could dodge all text laws language tricks.
> This is what, in fact, has impulsed my first message. I though that
> having a license in french may allow more (french-speaking) people to
> have confidence in the license under which they place their softwares (or
> the software they use is placed).

I think that it's fine to have licenses in other languages; I just think
that there should always be an authoritative license in English, too.

That is, if a person wants to have a French (or any other language) license,
that's fine, but also include an English version--and give *both* the force
of a license.  If the two differ, both of them count; everyone gets the
permissions they're able to read.

(In other words, dual license under the terms of both languages.  If they're
the same, this is a no-op.)

I don't think it's acceptable to have a /usr/share/doc/foo/copyright that
doesn't include a *binding* English version.  The general case would lead to
having those files in a dozen different languages, and nobody anywhere would
actually be able to understand their rights (except for linguists); everyone
would have to trust in a non-binding translation and the word of somebody
they don't know that it's equivalent to the real terms.

(This is, at present, only my opinion, of course.)

> > I'd suggest that you send the results of any discussions to them yourself,
> > if you think they'd be interested; you'll have better luck with that than
> > asking us to send blind emails to people we know nothing about.  :)
> I don't know them much more than you... :)

You at least appear to know what they do, and whatever it is, you're
interested in it; all I know is this license.  :)

Glenn Maynard

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