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From Lars Aronsson <>
Subject Re: GPL'd dictionaries (was Re:
Date Sun, 06 Nov 2011 23:06:28 GMT
On 11/06/2011 11:34 PM, Andrea Pescetti wrote:
> This is an interesting question, but the Italian dictionary started 
> with the same license as and has had a complex story, 
> with license changes (not actual relicensing, but "license upgrades" 
> as allowed by the [L]GPL) and several copyright holders. Since we know 
> that we have zero chances to get all copyright holders to agree to 
> relicensing, we will have to explore other possible alternatives.

In order to license, you need copyright. For example, you cannot
put old source code by Leonardo da Vinci under GPL, because
its copyright has expired. If the creators of the Italian spelling
dictionary do claim copyright, under what country's laws is that?
Under the laws of Sweden and many other European countries,
simple spelling dictionaries (lists and catalogs) are not covered
by copyright, but instead by a "catalog protection" which expires
after 15 years. That means, all spelling dictionaries from 1995
or earlier have now fallen into the public domain. Each January,
that window moves another year forward. It's no longer science
fiction that we can reuse 15 year old software archives.

   Lars Aronsson (
   Aronsson Datateknik -

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