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[Savannah-hackers-public] Licenses clarification

From: MJ Ray
Subject: [Savannah-hackers-public] Licenses clarification
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 02:15:28 +0000

> It is not clear what licenses we accept for documentation. In
> the same spirit - be able to easily share and build manuals
> under the GNU license - we plan to ask new projects to release
> documentation under a license compatible with the GNU Free
> Documentation License.

Many free software authors consider the adware potential of the
GNU FDL to be an unacceptable price to pay "to enlist commercial
publishers in funding free documentation"[1] and consider the
freedom to remove or reduce inappropriate or unethical advertising
a vital liberty. To give two topical examples:
- the unethical environmental harm of wasting paper printing
a large invariant section when deriving a quick reference card
from a manual;
- the potential for imprisonment, hate crimes and other problems
if an author has solicited an illegal act or advertised a widely-
hated political or terror group in their invariant sections.

For these sorts of reasons and others, dual-licensing is not
a welcome suggestion. That would still allow others to attach
things permanently and force *all* downstream distributors of
manual derivatives to damage the world more. It may be possible
to use moral rights to object to such derogatory treatment
of our work, but it looks like it could be argued (from [2])
that we don't have that right for some works that use the FDL.

Practically, the FDL is also incompatible with the GPL. Please
continue to allow projects under only GPL-compatible licences
and require that projects place manuals under a GPL-compatible
licence as well as any other licence used.


[1] - Why publishers should use the GNU FDL
by Richard Stallman

[2] - Section 81: Exceptions to right.
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

Hope that helps,

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