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draft for updated Vim license

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  • Bram Moolenaar
    There have been a few remarks on the Vim license. I have attempted to adjust the license to make more people happy with how Vim can be distributed. If you
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11 1:27 AM
      There have been a few remarks on the Vim license. I have attempted to
      adjust the license to make more people happy with how Vim can be
      distributed. If you care about this, please read the draft below and
      let me know if you have a problem with it. If a discussion is
      necessary, let's do that in the vim-dev maillist.

      The main difference is that the license should now be GPL-compatible
      (this is not yet confirmed by the FSF though). This avoids that linking
      with a GPL'ed library makes it impossible to distribute Vim. Debian had
      a problem with this.

      To make this possible I had to add the possibility to distribute Vim
      within a small group of people, without the requirement to send the
      maintainer a copy of changes, when asked for.

      The result is that the Vim license is more "free" than before. If you
      have contributed code to Vim and do not agree with this new license,
      this is the time to speak up.



      Vim is Charityware. You can use and copy it as much as you like, but you are
      encouraged to make a donation for needy children in Uganda. Please see |kcc|
      below or visit the ICCF web site, available at these mirrors:

      http://iccf-holland.org/ *iccf* *ICCF*

      The Open Publication License applies to the Vim documentation, see


      I) There are no restrictions on distributing unmodified copies of Vim except
      that they must include this license text. You can also distribute
      unmodified parts of Vim, likewise unrestricted except that they must
      include this license text. You are also allowed to include executables
      that you made from the unmodified Vim sources, plus your own usage
      examples and Vim scripts.

      II) It is allowed to distribute a modified version of Vim, with executables
      and/or source code, when the following four conditions are met:
      1) This license text must be included unmodified.
      2) The modified Vim must be distributed in one of the following five ways:
      a) If you make changes to Vim, you must clearly describe in the
      distribution how to contact you. When the maintainer asks you (in
      any way) for a copy of the modified Vim you distributed, you must
      make your changes, including source code, available to the
      maintainer without fee. The maintainer reserves the right to
      include your changes in the official version of Vim. What the
      maintainer will do with your changes and under what license they
      will be distributed is negotiable. If there has been no
      negotiation, then this license also applies to your changes.
      The current maintainer is Bram Moolenaar <Bram@...>. If this
      changes it will be announced in appropriate places (most likely
      vim.sf.net, www.vim.org and/or comp.editors). When it is completely
      impossible to contact the maintainer, the obligation to send him
      your changes ceases. Once the maintainer has confirmed that he
      has received your changes they will not have to be sent again.
      b) If you have received a modified Vim that was distributed as
      mentioned under a) you are allowed to further distribute it
      unmodified, as mentioned at I). If you make additional changes the
      text under a) applies to those changes.
      c) Provide all the changes, including source code, with every copy of
      the modified Vim you distribute. This may be done in the form of a
      context diff. You can choose what license to use for new code you
      add. The changes and their license must not restrict others from
      making their own changes to the official version of Vim.
      d) When you have a modified Vim which includes all changes, as
      mentioned under c), you can distribute it without the source code
      for the changes if the following three conditions are met:
      - The license that applies to the changes permits you to distribute
      the changes to the Vim maintainer without fee or restriction, and
      permits the Vim maintainer to include the changes in the official
      version of Vim without fee or restriction.
      - You keep the changes for at least three years after last
      distributing the corresponding modified Vim. When the maintainer
      or someone who you distributed the modified Vim to asks you (in
      any way) for the changes within this period, you must make them
      available to him.
      - You clearly describe in the distribution how to contact you. This
      contact information must remain valid for at least three years
      after last distributing the corresponding modified Vim, or as long
      as possible.
      e) When the GNU General Public License (GPL) applies to the changes,
      you can distribute the modified Vim under the GNU GPL.
      3) A message must be added, at least in the output of the ":version"
      command and in the intro screen, such that the user of the modified Vim
      is able to see that it was modified. When distributing as mentioned
      under 2)e) adding the message is only required for as far as this does
      not conflict with the license used for the changes.
      4) The contact information as mentioned under 2) must not be removed or
      changed, except that the person himself can make corrections.

      III) If you distribute a modified version of Vim, you are encouraged to use
      the Vim license for your changes and make them available to the
      maintainer, including the source code. The preferred way to do this is
      by e-mail or by uploading the files to a server and e-mailing the URL.
      If the number of changes is small (e.g., a modified Makefile) e-mailing a
      context diff will do. The e-mail address to be used is

      IV) It is not allowed to remove this license from the distribution of the Vim
      sources, parts of it or from a modified version. You may use this
      license for previous Vim releases instead of the license that they came
      with, at your option.

      === end of license ===


      - If you are happy with Vim, please express that by reading the rest of this
      file and consider helping needy children in Uganda.

      - If you link Vim with a library that goes under the GNU GPL, this limits
      further distribution to the GNU GPL. Also when you didn't actually change
      anything in Vim.


      SOLDIER: What? A swallow carrying a coconut?
      ARTHUR: It could grip it by the husk ...
      "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" PYTHON (MONTY) PICTURES LTD

      /// Bram Moolenaar -- Bram@... -- http://www.moolenaar.net \\\
      ((( Creator of Vim -- http://vim.sf.net -- ftp://ftp.vim.org/pub/vim )))
      \\\ Help me helping AIDS orphans in Uganda - http://iccf-holland.org ///
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