[conspire] I get mail

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Aug 9 21:48:57 PDT 2006

Quoting Daniel Gimpelevich (daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us):

> Yes, it is prudent for those who set themselves up to be the targets
> of this brand of idiocy to remain in good spirits about it, but
> sharing your e-misfortunes to promote the bemusement of others is
> downright commendable. After I had my little laugh from reading that
> post to the list, I found myself thinking about your long-standing
> disenchantment with people who effectively make static copies of the
> essay by mirroring too infrequently. I think that's a rather
> inevitable result of the fact that mirroring is barely mentioned in
> the official copying policy.

You have to give Eric credit for grappling thoughtfully with the issue.
Generally, you find either people denying republication rights,
explicitly (or implicitly, which is the default), granting them
unconditionally, or granting them with warranty disclaimer.  Eric's
copying policy attempts to encourage mirroring, but require such mirrors
to stay reasonably current:  The implication is that outdated mirrors of
a maintained document are problematic (and I agree).

> The half-exception for translations always struck me as particularly
> ingenious, and I thought I'd make a quick audit of the update status
> of the various ones to which the essay links, which took me far less
> time than it did to write this message.

I figure that's because translations tend to be one-time affairs, 
and it's not realistic to ask translators to keep doing all that 
work over and over -- much less require it.  They're really akin
to code-porting.

> Some interesting findings I made:

Thanks for that.  When I have time, I'll try to chase down the
now-missing translated versions, and maybe host them.

> Many of the translations label themselves as being under the GFDL or
> GPL licenses, despite the original being under neither.

Oops.  I don't think that's quite proper.

The translators could attempt to put their own titles to their
translating work under the licences of their choosing, but in the two 
instances cited, it would create licence conflict with Eric's copying
policy, resulting in works that recipients (technically) could not 
lawfully redistribute further without committing a tort -- not that
anyone's actually likely to litigate, which would be pretty over the 

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