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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Monday February 26, 2007
07:11 AM

All licences are equal, but some are more equal than others

[ #32510 ]

The Ministry of Truth has been active. I find this unsettling:

--- regex-0.12/COPYING    Sun Jun  2 21:03:17 1991
+++ ed-0.4/COPYING    Thu May 12 09:01:24 2005
@@ -2,7 +2,7 @@
                Version 2, June 1991

  Copyright (C) 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
-                          675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
+    51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301  USA
  Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
  of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

@@ -279,7 +279,7 @@

              END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS

-    Appendix: How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs
+        How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs

   If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the greatest
possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this is to make it
@@ -291,7 +291,7 @@
the "copyright" line and a pointer to where the full notice is found.

     <one line to give the program's name and a brief idea of what it does.>
-    Copyright (C) 19yy  <name of author>
+    Copyright (C) <year>  <name of author>

     This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
     it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
@@ -305,14 +305,15 @@

     You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
     along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
-    Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
+    Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301  USA
+

Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper mail.

If the program is interactive, make it output a short notice like this
when it starts in an interactive mode:

-    Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) 19yy name of author
+    Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) year name of author
     Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show w'.
     This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
     under certain conditions; type `show c' for details.

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
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  • None of the changes are significant. The new FSF mailing address? Removing "19yy" as the template for the year? I don't get it.
    • I agree that they're not significant changes. But I don't like the fact that they have made changes to the document without any of

      • noting in the document that changes have been made
      • changing the version number of the document
      • serving the document from a different URL

      It may well be administrative oversight, but I'm not comfortable with a system that lets the public master copy of one of the most important documents on the Internet get changed, without any clear indication that it's been changed.

      These

  • It is very nice of them to tell me how to do this:

      If the program is interactive, make it output a short notice like this
    when it starts in an interactive mode:

    - Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) 19yy name of author
    + Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) year name of author
              Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show w'.
              This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it