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Re: Overview of copyright issues + Debian

From: Don Armstrong
Subject: Re: Overview of copyright issues + Debian
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 12:21:23 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

On Thu, 10 Sep 2009, Joseph Wakeling wrote:
> Don Armstrong wrote:
> > (There are a significant number of files distributed in lilypond
> > which are under v2 or later, or v3 or later, as well as things
> > like input/mutopia/, which isn't even Free Software, as it
> > cannot be modified.[2])
> If I'm not mistaken, isn't that file only used for a regression
> test? How does that affect the situation?

It doesn't really change the situation for me, as I have to strip it
out of the tarball, but it presumably doesn't affect the binary
packages that I distribute.

That's because everything Debian distributes has to satisfy the DFSG;
whether that's an issue for you all is for you all to decide. [What
would be really super for me is if during this process, those files
which had non-free licenses were identified (and a conscious effort
was made to identify any new ones) so that I could easily remove
> > I'd personally prefer it if documentation was at least licensed
> > under the same license as the code to allow for easily inclusion
> > of code examples (and to obviate the problems I [and Debian] have
> > with specific aspects of the GFDL.) It certainly can be dual
> > licensed under GFDL >= v1.1 + GPL >= v2, though.
> AFAIK the docs have always been GFDLv1.1 -- I don't think we can
> unilaterally relicense them. Can you clarify the particular issue
> with GFDL? I thought the Debian consensus was that GFDL is OK as
> long as there are no invariant sections.

Right. There are some other bits of the GFDL that I personally don't
like too, but so long as there aren't invariant sections it's ok.

> What does GPL imply for docs? Would it mean e.g. that someone who
> distributes a PDF of the Learning Manual would have to also be
> prepared to provide Texinfo sources?

What I'm suggesting is that they be dual-licensed, so that someone who
wanted to comply with the GFDL could do so, and alternatively, they
could comply with the GPL instead. If they were *only* under the GPL,
you're correct that someone distributing a PDF would also have to be
prepared to provide the source code. [Though, under the GFDL, you may
need to if you are copying in quantity, since the PDF is probably

Don Armstrong

Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they
have exhausted all other possibilities.
 -- W. Churchill    

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