Say what? GNU Emacs violates the GPL

3d-gnu-headGPL violations are a dime a dozen. Some are intentional, some are not — but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one quite as surprising as this one. Yes, Richard Stallman has sent out a note letting everybody know that the 23.2 and 23.3 releases of GNU Emacs are in violation of the GPL. Says Stallman, “We have made a very bad mistake. Anyone redistributing those versions is violating the GPL, through no fault of his own.”

You read that right — GNU Emacs, possibly the most GPLish of GPL’ed programs, has a GPL violation. The specifics as reported by David Kastrup are that Emacs includes a handful of “binary blobs” related to a Collection of Emacs Development Environment Tools (CEDET). We’re talking maybe eight files that were autogenerated from Bison grammar files, and the Bison grammar files weren’t distributed. Therein lies the GPL violation.

Complete Story

About News