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Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV: how to handle COPYING?

From: Bake Timmons
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] KFV: how to handle COPYING?
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 16:48:46 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

> Something along the lines of:
> Copyleft licenses are designed to protect the user's freedom. It can
> only do this if no further restrictions can be added. Therefore, not
> being allowed to change the license is a good thing. Functional,
> scientific and artistic works and works of opinion are used
> differently, so they don't all have the same freedom requirements.

I like it.  Perhaps we could also contrast licenses and code:

  Many source files include not license text but a *reference* to a
  license and sometimes version.  If License X has any number of
  variants floating around, what good would references like "distributed
  under License X version Y" be?  How could such use be legally binding
  in practice?  Hence the need to discourage rampant modifications put
  under similar names--particularly of extremely popular licenses.  This
  is not to mention other issues, like license incompatibilities.

  Software, on the other hand, has always been notoriously prone to
  change, demonstrated by the heavy reliance on revision control
  systems and the like.  A high premium naturally is placed on ease
  and extent of modification and distribution.

A link that I found enlightening and believe would be helpful (among
other links) is :

   Can I modify the GPL and make a modified license?

      You can use the GPL terms (possibly modified) in another license
      provided that you call your license by another name and do not
      include the GPL preamble, and provided you modify the
      instructions-for-use at the end enough to make it clearly
      different in wording and not mention GNU (though the actual
      procedure you describe may be similar).

      If you want to use our preamble in a modified license, please
      write to <address@hidden> for permission. For this purpose we
      would want to check the actual license requirements to see if we
      approve of them.

      Although we will not raise legal objections to your making a
      modified license in this way, we hope you will think twice and
      not do it. Such a modified license is almost certainly
      incompatible with the GNU GPL, and that incompatibility blocks
      useful combinations of modules. The mere proliferation of
      different free software licenses is a burden in and of itself.

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