Subject: Special Exceptions on FreeCard project
From: "Mark Rauterkus" <mrauterkus@SportSurf.Net>
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 18:35:32 -0500

Hi All,

I asked for insights on SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS and the GPL. Lots of good
feedback so far. Thanks! Next homework step....

We have a small group endeavor that's struggling to form and advance in
called "FreeCard" -- and opensource version of HyperCard, a dead on the vine
Apple software tool for easy authoring. Dodging the history and overall
introduction, .... we are in the process of choosing to go with the GPL with

HyperCard's is simple authoring (programming) with English-like scripting
that had plenty of of "professor-ware/teacher-ware penetration. Teachers can
make stacks, test, course-supplements, blah, blah, blah. Others in this
marketspace, way better than HyperCard (IMHO) are SuperCard and MetaCard
(, and -- also NON-FREE.

As an outcome of the authoring, USER-folks can create double-clickable
applications -- or just pass along their "stack" (mainly content) that runs
with the "player-application" (core code). In turn, the customers/students
can operate these applications, authored by the user of FreeCard.

So, we'd like the FreeCard tool to be FREE and OPEN, but we'd like to see
the FreeCard community be able to create applications that are CLOSED AND

In the process, Richard (RS) was contacted and this EXCEPTION (run past FSF
lawyers already) has been advanced.

    As a special exception, you may publish an integrated combination
    of FreeCard in executable form together with your data to be
    displayed using FreeCard, under your choice of license, provided
    that (1) the license does not permit extraction of the FreeCard
    executable from the combination other than in accord with the
    terms of the GNU General Public License, that (2) you state
    prominently either in or with the combination the precise location
    where the complete corresponding source code for the same version
    of FreeCard is openly available on a widely used network, and
    where you can reasonably expect it to remain available for at
    least one year after you first publish the combination.

The specification of time ("one year") and all that is necessary so they
don't just put it on a tiny HTML page on an un-indexed server for a week
and say "we did it" without anyone ever having a chance of finding it.

- - - -

Seeing the RS seal-of-approval (so to speak) should be plenty, right?

No problems are expected, but you all know better than I. I value your
opinions. Throw darts at will. If all is fine -- we'll embrace this license
and move along.

Thanks for the help (past, present and future).

Mark Rauterkus

PS: Stickier issues still remain for later.