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Re: Translation of a license

I think you can, except the FSF requires that you place a notice, in
English, saying 'This is an unofficial translation and the original
English version is the only legal one', which obviously doesn't look
very good on the program's copyright notice.


On 1/16/06, Tobias Toedter <t.toedter@gmx.net> wrote:
> 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"
> "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.

Andrew Donnellan
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