Re: Fixing bug #330868 in a smart way

On 19/06/06, Alan Cox <alan lxorguk ukuu org uk> wrote:
Ar Llu, 2006-06-19 am 18:39 +0800, ysgrifennodd James Henstridge:
> If you intend to present localised license text, please provide a way
> to turn it off (and probably turn it off by default ...).
> Translations can introduce ambiguities or change the meaning of a
> text, which is not acceptable in the case of a legal document.  My
> agreement to license my code under the GPL does not imply my agreement
> to license it under a random translation of the GPL, so it shouldn't
> be presented as such to the user.

True, but it is also true that in many jurisdictions a license in a
foreign language will not find much favour.

The license serves several purposes and precise legal defence of the
code (within the limits of that jurisdiction) is one, in some ways, less
important property.

The GPL also tells users about their freedom and about their rights.
Encoding the rights of people in a foreign language so they cannot
exercise them is a fine tradition, normally exercised by invaders,
oppressors and other bodies not in the tradition of freedom.

Translations really should include a translation of the license text
where there is a standardised and checked one, but need to state that
the American English version is the authorative document for legal
purposes and include that too where the license text would be printed.

Only by doing that do you tell people what "Free Software" means and
what rights you have given them.

Those are good points, and it sounds like a good idea to show an
unofficial translation along with the real license.  But it needs to
be clear that if the translation and the english text differ that the
english text be considered authorative.

This is particularly important if the translated text is displayed
when the user asks the app what its license is.


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