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Translation of a license



Hi all,

I searched the archives of -legal for anything similar to this, but could 
not find anything. Excuse me if this has already been discussed, I would 
then be grateful for a pointer. Also, please keep me CC'ed, as I'm not 
subscribed to -legal.

While translating a pot file into German, I found that the program prints 
its license terms via gettext. Therefore, the license itself appears in the 
list of translatable messages.

Specifically, it uses the GPL with the following paragraphs:

"This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify\n"
"it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by\n"
"the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at\n"
"your option) any later version.\n"
"\n"
"This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but\n"
"WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of\n"
"MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU\n"
"General Public License, /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL, for more details\n"

My first thought was to look up the translation on www.gnu.org, and they 
offer an unofficial translation of the GPL into German. I included the 
corresponding two paragraphs and sent the file for reviewing to our German 
translation coordination list.

However, we could not decide whether translating a license is ok or not. We 
tend to think that we should better *not* translate the paragraphs.

Please note that there's still a pointer to the original license 
(/usr/share/common-licenses/GPL) which is in English. The translation would 
only apply to the informational text above, leaving the full license 
intact.

Would this already qualify as "re-licensing", which we obviously cannot do? 
Or merely a help to better understand the terms and conditions?

Cheers,

-- 

Tobias

    Warning: Trespassers will be shot.
    Survivors will be shot again.

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