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Re: Contradicting license informations in make.texi

From: Sven Joachim
Subject: Re: Contradicting license informations in make.texi
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 20:41:40 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.7 (X11/20051017)

Eli Zaretskii wrote:
1) Version b) lists the ``GNU General Public License'' as an Invariant
   Section, but does not actually include it.

It should mention the GFDL section (which _is_ included) instead.

That would be redundant, because the GFDL text has to be included
anyway.  There is no need to turn it into an Invariant Section.

I'm guessing that when the manual was converted to GFDL, the stale
reference to GPL was left behind by mistake.

Or the text was pasted from the Emacs Manual, which _does_ include the
GPL text as an Invariant Section.

2) Obviously, version a) and b) differ.  This may be a mistake, and
   you may just bring them in sync.  Otherwise, it is unclear how to
   interpret it.

I don't think this is a mistake: the printed version mentions cover
text because only that version actually has cover text.  But IANAL.

That would make sense, but I think that the GFDL currently is not
suited for that.  For instance, Section 4 (modified versions) of the
GFDL says that one must

     G. Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant
     Sections    and required Cover Texts given in the Document's
     license notice.

If you take make.texi as the original document and make.info as a
modified version (perfectly sensible, I think) and you insist on your
Cover Texts in make.texi, it turns out to be illegal to distribute
make.info.  This interpretation is not the only possible one, but it
would be better if people could redistribute the manual without having
to worry about such possible pitfalls. (Note: IANAL either.)

3) GFDL version 1.1 is listed as license for the manual, but later
   included is the text for GFDL version 1.2.  You probably want to
   upgrade to version 1.2 consistently.

It says ``version 1.1 or later'', so there's no contradiction, at
least not legally.

Again, I see a possible problem with that, because the license text
for version 1.1 is _not_ included in the manual.  I think the GFDL
(and copyright law, for that matter) would require that the conditions
under which the software is licensed are included with it.  For
redistributors, this means that they must either include the text for
GFDL 1.1 or relicense the manual under version 1.2 (or later).

Sorry for being so picky about these things.  But I use a distribution
which considers license problems to be more important than anything
else and have taken over this attitude to some degree.

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