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Re: [Groff] Licence question regarding an-ext

From: Ingo Schwarze
Subject: Re: [Groff] Licence question regarding an-ext
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2015 22:04:31 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Hi Carsten,

Carsten Kunze wrote on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 08:38:43PM +0100:
> Werner Lemberg wrote:
>> Carsten Kunze wrote:

>>> But the mention of a FSF copyright has nothing to do with
>>> GPL--right?

>> Correct.

> Ok, if the file is "unlicenced"

Wait!  The file is not "unlicensed", not at all.  If it were
unlicensed, you would not be allowed to redistribute it at all.

Let's explicitly dissect the header for clarity:

First, we have the U.S. Copyright header, also serving as a
declaration of the intent to transfer all economic rights

  .\" Copyright (C) 2007-2014  Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Then, we have the international Copyright header:

  .\" Written by Eric S. Raymond <address@hidden>
  .\"            Werner Lemberg <address@hidden>

Finally, here is the license:

  .\" You may freely use, modify and/or distribute this file.

In terms of license classification, that is a simplified one-clause
BSD-style license, sometimes called an ISC-style license, even
though this one is even simpler than the standard ISC license.

Everybody has the right to choose a different license for each of
their works (and even different licenses for different licensees
of the same works).  So even though the FSF usually prefers the GPL
v3 nowadays, they often publish some code under different licenses,
for example BSD licenses, and for good reasons.  Conversely, i
usually prefer ISC licenses, but i did publish some code under GPL
v2 in the past - in some cases, for good reasons, too.

> then the header can of course stay like it is.

That is indeed true.  It really should.


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