Permission to use portions of the recent GNU Emacs Manual
bruce+usenet at cenderis.demon.co.uk
Mon Dec 13 12:44:31 EST 2004
David Kastrup <dak at gnu.org> writes:
> Because it still is impossible to move GPLed material into a manual
> that is supposed to be dual-licenced under the GPL and the GFDL, for
> anyone except the copyright holder on the GPLed software?
As far as I can tell the XEmacs people aren't asking for GNU GPL; the
XEmacs manual is distributed under conditions which look incompatible
with the GNU GPL.
Indeed, I just compared the text in the current xemacs.texi with
what's in emacs.texi version 1.10 (August 2000, just before the change
described as "Update for GFDL. Not yet checked by rms."), and they
look very nearly the same (the only difference is that in emacs.texi
translations of the GNU Manifesto and similar sections have to be
approved by "the Free Software Foundation", but xemacs.texi says "the
So presumably in 2000 the FSF chose to change the license, and the
XEmacs people didn't follow, either because they didn't like the GFDL
or because they felt they couldn't (changing licences is obviously
easier if one entity owns the copyright).
It seems a shame. Not as embarrassing as Debian moving all GFDL
documentation to non-free (which hasn't happened yet, but seems not
unlikely), but still disappointing, IMHO.
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