Subject: Re: GPLv3 draft
From: "Ben Tilly" <btilly@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 20:42:14 -0800

 Mon, 10 Apr 2006 20:42:14 -0800
On 4/10/06, Stephen J. Turnbull <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp> wrote:
> >>>>> "simo" == simo  <s@ssimo.org> writes:
[...]
>     simo> Don't think so, to solve [the problem of interpretation
>     simo> varying across jurisdictions] you should really draw a set
>     simo> of licenses each in the native jurisdiction language and
>     simo> with precise reference to this jurisdiction laws.
>
> As far as I can tell, the FSF doesn't consider that a good strategy.
> Instead they prefer to make adjustments and translations only when
> necessary.  The GPL doesn't even grant permission to make translations
> of itself into other languages for *any* purpose, let alone for use as
> a license.  That language has not changed at all in draft GPLv3.
[...]

I agree with the FSF on this one.

The problem with many jurisdictional licenses is that wording a
license to mean what you think it should mean is very hard.  Correctly
translating one and making it mean the exact same thing is even
harder.  And making developers agree to a whole slew of licenses, most
of which they can't read, is a complete nonstarter.

It is far better to have a single license written in one language that
is as clear as possible.  Particularly if said license is written in
such a way that it will almost certainly be valid in any country that
abides by international agreements on what contract and copyright law
should look like.  And for software development, for better or for
worse, the natural language to choose for this purpose is English.

Which is what the GPL does.

Cheers,
Ben