From: r...@VENUS.BERKELEY.EDU (Richard Stallman)
Subject: Changes in General Public License
Date: 3 Mar 88 19:48:44 GMT
The latest versions of GNU Emacs and GDB, and the next version of GCC,
have a changed version of the General Public License. The changes
consist of a clarification and some relaxations:
* You can distribute GNU software and proprietary software on the same
tape or disk. (This was always intended to be permitted, but some people
weren't sure from the old wording.)
* If you distribute binaries without sources, your written offer
to distribute the corresponding sources at a later date
now needs to be valid only for three years.
* If you receive binaries without sources, and you redistribute the
binaries noncommercially, you don't have to pass on a copy of the
written offer to get sources; it's enough to pass on the information
of who made the offer. So you can redistribute the binaries
electronically without paper.
* You can distribute an executable linked with system libraries
even if you can't distribute the source for those system libraries.
(Everyone is already doing this, and it seems like a reasonable
thing to do.)
Please see the actual document if you want more details.
Sometimes people ask us for permission to copy the GNU copying terms
for software they are writing. They ask because they see that the
COPYING file is copyrighted.
Please go ahead and do it. As far as we are concerned, the more
people who use these terms or similar terms, the better. The reason
for copyrighting the COPYING file is because we don't want people
modifying it and making altered versions that purport to be the
copying terms *for GNU software*.