free as in beer (was Re: Clean Sheet?)

Dionisio Martínez Soler dmsoler at
Tue Feb 1 09:25:09 CST 2005

Jonathon Blake wrote:
> Better questions to ask are:
> a) Who owns the translations that are done at Rosetta?
> b) What licence /copyright are the _translations_ done at Rosetta
> distributed under?  [GNU FDL, MIT, Creative Common, something else?]

You are absolutely right! Specially after the answer to your question,
see below.

Carlos Perelló wrote:
> From the legal page of launchpad (unfortunately, it's not published yet,
> hope it's done soon):
> Rosetta Copyright
> All translations imported from external sources are owned by the
> translator that made them. In general, these translations are licensed
> under the same terms as the software for which they are a translation.
> All translations submitted into Rosetta are the work of the translator
> that created them, and are submitted under the same license as the
> software being translated.

Until now, everything is OK.

> In addition, the translator grants to
> Canonical Ltd the right to publish the translation and use the
> translation in other software packages under their license.

Why this could be possibly be necessary if Canonical doesn't want to use
those translation in software with non-free licences? This paragraph is
suspect to anyone working with free software. With this legal condition,
I will not contribute any translation any more, and I will recommend
everyone not to use Rosetta.

Dafydd Harries wrote:
> I'm confused by what you mean when you say "open source is not
> necessarily free (nor as in free beer nor as in free speech)". My
> understanding is that "open source" and "free software" are equivalent
> only that the motivations behind them are different.

Perhaps the problem is this: not understanding clearly what free
software is. You can publish your code (open source) but with a license
which doesn't allow other people to use legally your code in other free
derivative works. You can even sell a commercial program whose code is
publicy available. For example, you can distribute the source code of
Rosetta with a licence saying that I cannot use the source code of
Rosetta to set up my own web page using it. This is not free software.


Dionisio Martínez Soler

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