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[Savannah-hackers-public] Re: [ #279148] News: Licenses clarifica

From: Sylvain Beucler via RT
Subject: [Savannah-hackers-public] Re: [ #279148] News: Licenses clarification
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 04:18:14 -0500

Thank you for your answer - that sounds quite logic indeed.

I never actually saw any application that uses a stand-alone manual as
a source for contextual help - it was a general question.

I'll also remember that you are no legal advice. How may I refer to
the help you provide us with?


On Tue, Mar 21, 2006 at 10:52:17PM -0500, Brett Smith via RT wrote:
> > [beuc - Wed Mar 15 19:56:32 2006]:
> >
> > Follow the requirement to use (at least) the GFDL for Savannah-hosted
> > manuals, we have a question about the use of such manual in an
> > integrated help system.
> >
> > In this forwarded message I argue that if, at runtime, a GNU GPL'd
> > application open the file containing the GFDL'd documentation and
> > display the relevant contextual bits to the user, then there is no
> > copyright issue.
> Dear Sylvain,
> Whether or not this is true depends on the exact details of how the
> documentation is integrated with the code.
> If the help system does little more than display the documentation it's
> given, and it would be capable of displaying any other documentation in
> the same format, then the two can be considered independent works, and
> released side-by-side under any GNU licenses.
> On the other hand, if the program relies on specific details in that
> particular help file, then the program would be a derivative work of the
> documentation, and there'd be a licensing problem. This could be the
> case, for example, if the program provides context-sensitive help by
> bringing up specific sections of the manual. Since this wouldn't work
> with different documentation in the same format -- it relies on a
> document that has the sections referenced by the program -- it's a
> derivative work.
> I hope this helps clarify the situation. If you're still not sure where
> your specific program falls on this spectrum, and you can send us
> specific details about how it works, I'd be happy to address your
> concerns. Please note that this is not legal advice; if you need legal
> advice, please contact a lawyer.

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