Štěpán Němec stepnem at
Mon Jul 19 22:41:07 CEST 2010

Marc Weber <marco-oweber at> writes:

> Excerpts from Štěpán Němec's message of Mon Jul 19 19:41:44 +0200 2010:
>> Marc Weber <marco-oweber at> writes:
>> Why? Care to provide some arguments? (To save you part of the potential
>> work, I can reply to some of the obvious ones in advance:
> Let me rephrase then: I think Emacs users who don't know vimpulse should
> find vimpulse easily. So in fact you don't have to include the sources.
> Adding a big fat help entry telling about its existence would be enough.
> Eg make the viper screen say "vimpulse is based on viper and provides
> more advanced Vim editing featuers. See ...."

Well... I get your point, and it might even be actually possible, i.e.
there is not *that* many libraries emulating Vim. On the other hand,
"standard" practice nowadays is to search the N3tz, and you're bound to
find the Emacs Wiki and all that jazz pretty soon if you're curious
about kool stoves. In other words, I don't remember a single third party
package being recommended or even mentioned _anywhere_ in GNU Emacs
documentation :-)

> About the licensing: I don't understand it. GNU emacs is GPL, isn't it?
> So everyone who is using it may ask for source. If you get a copy you
> may redistribute the code yourself etc.

Sure. You can redistribute it under the same terms (GNU GPL).

> quote:
> " What we are possibly losing is the ability to force others to make their
> modifications free ".
> Can someone give me an example how this works: Making a GPLd application
> like emacs unfree - or parts of it?

You can't do that AFAIK. What would be the point of such a license?

> Why do you have to know all copyright holders to enforce the GPL
> freedoms?

The point here is not *knowing* about all the copyright holders. The
point is that the FSF insists on being *the* copyright holder on some of
the GNU software, including GNU Emacs. The only rationale I've seen in
various phrasings goes like "it will put us in better position while
enforcing the GNU GPL".

(Well OK, I see nothing _necessarily_ wrong with that. What is
braindamaged in my opinion is the current procedure which requires
sending papers all around the world. When I asked if you could at least
get a "cover all" for all GNU projects or if the assignment could be
printed only *once*, signed, scanned and sent by e-mail, the answer to
both questions was "unfortunately, our counsel has advised against
[doing that]". :-))) They seem to be willing to give you an assignment
for at most 4 GNU projects at one time. It's horrible. I hate them for
that and I still hope it will change. I don't know about anybody else
who does this. Let's avoid GNU software. LET'S SWITCH TO XEMACS! UAAA!

> Is it because you can't enforce the GPL laws for someone else - because
> the one (maybe unkown) person must do it?

I doubt that. I don't know about any issues with GPL or BSD or other
standard libre software licenses where the single/multiple copyright
holders issue or enforceability was a problem. Which does not mean there
are really no issues of course -- I'm not only not a lawyer, I'm also
absolutely not interested in this kind of stuff. But I did ask the FSF
copyright clerk, and haven't got any answer either (for almost a month
now; I'm going to PING them when it's a full month, they must be busy
gluing envelopes). I also failed to find anything on or the
Internet. It's all just that general "better position" and "counsel
advised" wish-wash.


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