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Re: [syl20bnr/spacemacs] Proposal to improve GPL compliance (#14444)

From: github . com
Subject: Re: [syl20bnr/spacemacs] Proposal to improve GPL compliance (#14444)
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2021 09:59:50 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/2.0 (3d08634) (2020-11-07)

* Dmitry Gutov <notifications@github.com> [2021-03-02 00:03]:
> The report might still have merit, but I kind of doubt it. Otherwise
> we venture into "cannot distribute my own user configuration
> publicly" territory.

That is definitely interesting observation.

It is related to copyrights, not quite technicalities.

init.el files run with Emacs, so when distributed IMHO such files
represent combined work in terms of copyrights. init.el is not just
single file that runs in itself alone. Thus it has to carry proper
copyright license as it is combined and dependent of Emacs.

How you call it, be it "init" or something else, it is your
classification of software.

We do not speak of how software is classified, we speak of copyrights.

You can distribute your program without copyright notice, but that
does not make it free software. It may also collide with the GNU GPLv3
because if program is dependent of Emacs and modifies Emacs than it is
not in compliance with the license.

If your program runs let us say some processing that do not modify
Emacs, then I guess it could be proprietary as well. For example if
your program processes some data, like making websites in a batch
mode, I guess it could be proprietary.

If it however opens up the interactive user interface and provides M-x
commands that modifies Emacs and the license shall be GNU GPLv3 (or
maybe compatible one).

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