forwarded message from Primoz Peterlin

From: Göran Uddeborg (
Date: 2002-01-15 12:21:20

Det här kom väl bara till ena listan tror jag, så jag vidarebefodrar
för att ni skall kunna följa med i diskussionen här också.

attached mail follows:


On Mon, 14 Jan 2002, [ISO-8859-1] Göran Uddeborg wrote:

> During the translation of gawk, we have had a discussion on the
> Swedish list regarding those messages:
> msgid ""
> "Copyright (C) 1989, 1991-%d Free Software Foundation.\n"

Here is nothing to translate. :)

> "This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify\n"
> "it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by\n"
> "the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or\n"
> "(at your option) any later version.\n"

These we translate the best we can.

> Should we translate these as laymen?  What are the implications?
> While it is pretty easy to translate it so it could be understood,
> legal wordings are sometime sensitive.  Maybe not so much in Sweden as
> in the USA, but a Swedish translation doesn't automatically imply a
> Swedish jurisdiction.

The situation, as I see it, is:

a) Most of Swedish users are residing in Sweden (OK, some perhaps in
   Finland and Norway as well). Whatever legal implications these messages
   have in the USA, they are likely void in Sweden.

b) You probably cannot get a Swedish lawyer to produce messages compatible
   with Swedish legislation either, since they might deviate from English
   original, which is written in compliance with USA legislation.

> Is this a question to the FSF, to the program developers, or to
> somebody else?  How do you other teams handle this?

In principle, one would need lawyers specializing in IT for each language,
and perhaps even change the original to cover each possible situation.
Hardly worth doing it.

So at presentm I view these messages as hardly anything more than
decorations in the text and wouldn't worry about them unless a real
problem with them arises.

Best regards, Primoz

- --
Primo¾ Peterlin,   In¹titut za biofiziko, Med. fakulteta, Univerza v Ljubljani
Lipièeva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija.
Tel: +386-1-5437632, fax: +386-1-4315127,
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