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Re: cl-typesetting license

On Sat, Apr 16, 2005 at 03:09:18PM +0000, Brian M. Carlson wrote:
> On Sat, 2005-04-16 at 16:32 +0200, Jakob Bohm wrote:
> > On Mon, Apr 11, 2005 at 07:50:36AM -0400, Anthony DeRobertis wrote:
> > > Ingo Ruhnke wrote:
> > > 
> > > >Sound free to me, since not the output of the library is required to
> > > >confirm to it, but the interface which generates the input for the
> > > >library. So to me it looks basically just like something like GPLs 2c
> > > >section applied to the web.
> > > 
> > > Not really. GPL 2(c) tells me what changes I may make to the software in 
> > > question. This tells me what changes I may/must make to other software.
> > > 
> > 
> > GPL 2(c) is the obnoxious banner clause that says that if you
> > take a random piece of non-interactive GPL code and incorporate
> > it in an interactive program, then that program must include a
> > startup banner telling the users that this is Free Software
> > under the GPL.
> Right, and this is relevant if and only if:
> 1) the original GPL work printed such an announcement; and
> 2) the relevant work is a derivative work of both GPL'd code and code
> that prints such a notice.

Strange, given the careful use of "the Program" versus "program"
in the text of the GPL, I read 2(c) as kicking in if:

1) the original GPL work printed such an announcement and the
new program is in almost any way interactive; or

2) the original GPL work is not interactive (like GNU tar), and
the new program is in almost any way interactive.

> > Similarly, cl-typesetting #5, says that if you incorporate
> > cl-typesetting in a larger program then that program (not its
> > output) must display a cl-typesetting banner in its primary
> > startup screen.
> Ah, but this is not a derivative work of cl-typesetting. cl-typesetting
> (I am assuming) merely processes some marked-up data.

I see it as being (by some stretch) linking in cl-typesetting as
kind of a library.

> > GPL 2(c) presumes a command-like program similar to
> > gdb/bash/emacs in its example text, cl-typesetting#5 presumes a
> > HTML-based user interface such as a cgi/php/jsp frontend.
> Yes, but the HTML-based interface is a derivative work not of
> cl-typesetting, but of the input. The GPL'd program we are discussing is
> a derivative work of only the works which make up the executable.  cl-t
> #5 would contaminate other software, specifically the input to the
> typesetter.

Look again, it is not referring to the HTML-pages generated by
cl-typesetting, it is referring to HTML pages that form a
cgi/php/jsp/asp/... interface for invoking cl-typesetting
remotely.  The actual typeset documents are not contaminated.

> > So one must look very carefully to determine what places GPL
> > 2(c) just within the DFSG (other than DFSG#10), and what causes
> > cl-typesetting #5 to be within or outside the DFSG.
> You are comparing apples to oranges...

If cl-typesetting #5 referred to the generated documents I would
agree with you, but I read it as not doing that.  It is not an
orange, it is a yellow apple.

> As an analogy, I would like to point out that I am writing free
> documentation (how it is licensed is not really relevant) with troff
> markup.  Does my documentation then become a derivative work of groff?
> I hope not.  Otherwise, once sarge releases, all the BSD manpages with
> advertising clauses would become undistributable.

My analogy would be: xman is a front end for troff/groff, is
xman itself a derivative of groff?  Should xman display a GPL
2(c) notice when invoked with no arguments to display its menu?

> That said, I would like to point out that GPL 2(c) is not a favorite of
> many people on this list.  It is my belief, however, that any
> interpretation of the DFSG (ignoring section 10) which would make the
> licenses in DFSG 10 non-free is an incorrect one.

Agreed on both points.

This message is hastily written, please ignore any unpleasant wordings,
do not consider it a binding commitment, even if its phrasing may
indicate so. Its contents may be deliberately or accidentally untrue.
Trademarks and other things belong to their owners, if any.

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