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Re: Translated License

On 03/08/14 15:01, Jonathan Paugh wrote:
> On 03/08/2014 09:48 PM, Georg Pfeiffer wrote:
>> Dear Sirs,
>> the german trennmuster project [1] provides a LaTeX package
>> de-hyph-exptl wich is part of the debian texlive-lang-german
>> package. The core component is a long list of german words as source for
>> the generation of hyphenation patterns wich is actually not a part of
>> debian.
>> We intend to give the whole project a default license wich is a german
>> translation of the MIT license [2]. The english text is included. Our
>> intention is, that the german text shall be more clear and more
>> convenient to german project members (authors) as well as for german
>> customers wich we estimate to be the majority as well on the author as
>> on the customer side.
>> Are there any concerns about the assignment of a german language license
>> to an almost german project? The sub parts of our project integrated
>> into debian packages will stay further under the common english licenses
>> of course.
> The only problem I see is, which license takes legal force? Will the
> project be licensed under the MIT (English) License, with the German
> version provided merely for convenience, or vice versa; or even dual
> licensed under both. Consider: what if there is a mistranslation, or
> other error in only one version of the license. Which would take
> precedence?
> I suggest licensing under the MIT license, as is (in English), and
> specifying (either in German or English (or both?)) that the German
> translation is merely for reference/convenience sake. I suggest using
> the English version as the "official" version not to discriminate
> against German users, but to avoid license proliferation, and to expose
> any potential legal issues in the license to a wider audience. (And, of
> course, the community has already established that there are no problems
> with MIT as is.)
> All that said, IANAL, and I do not represent the position of Debian or
> anyone else.

If I remember, a license can still be DFSG-free even if it isn't in
English, but as has been said above, an English license is preferable.

You could always dual license; even if the German translation later
turns out to be non-free for some technical reason, you can still keep
the package in main because of the MIT license. Also, for
German-speaking contributors, they will be releasing their contributions
under a license that they understand.

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