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Re: OK to distribute autoconf.texi under the GPL too?

From: Bob Friesenhahn
Subject: Re: OK to distribute autoconf.texi under the GPL too?
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 10:33:28 -0600 (CST)

On Sun, 19 Dec 2004, Paul Eggert wrote:

Bob Friesenhahn <address@hidden> writes:

Autoconf.texi is not part of a program.  The texinfo.tex file could be
(weakly) construed to be part of a program since it defines

But autoconf.texi also defines and uses macros.  And even if it
didn't, one can think of the non-macro part of autoconf.texi as being
a collection of print statements.  So I still don't understand why the
GPL doesn't apply to autoconf.texi.

Ok, maybe it does in which case GPL could apply (TeX would then be the "program" and the source to TeX would need to be distributed under GPL!). But do the distribution restrictions of GPL apply to Autoconf documentation which is already formatted into regular ASCII text or HTML? These can not be construed to be source for a "program" so modifying these forms does not appear to incur the GPL requirement to make source available for the modified "program". The primary intent of GPL is to ensure that source code is always made available for any distributed "program" executables.

Bob Friesenhahn

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