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RE: A restrictive(?) LDP License
(This is a reply to both Guylhem Aznar and Sandy Harris.)
Guylhem Aznar wrote:
> I did hope we could have more documents, and even full books with a free
On Fri, Oct 01, 1999 at 12:04:49PM +1000, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
>> I think it should be stated in the Manifesto as a statement of
>> principle, yes. I've no problem with the LDP providing a model license,
>> I think that's a great idea. But the relationship between the LDP
>> principles of free documentation and the license needs to be made
>Ok ; David could you please add a paragraph in the manifesto?
Well, here's what the existing Manifesto (without any revision) says
LDP documents must be freely redistributable without fees paid to the
authors. It is not required that the text be modifiable, but it is
This means that all LDP docs may be freely distributed in any medium
(including printed form). It means that anyone may make copies and
then give them away or sell them (and the author can't require any fee
to be paid to him for this). However, while the author might have been
paid for writing the document, once it's in the hands of the LDP (on
our websites) anyone is free to copy it. Thus if someone presents a
doc to the LDP and the license does not allow free copying and
distribution (copying is implied by "freely redistributable") then the
LDP rejects it. This rule in force right now and has been for some
Thus any license used for an LDP doc must permit any publisher to take
it, make printed copies of it and sell them. It can't be restricted to
just one publisher. Thus for the time being it's not really necessary
to add a paragraph to the manifesto since it's already there. We
might add "in any medium" to make it clearer but this is already
implied. Eventually we should expand on what we mean by "free" but this
is going to get into the controversial problem regarding modification.
Sandy Harris (email@example.com) wrote on Sat Oct 2 07:49:09 1999:
* So suppose a HowTo author or other LDP writer reverses that and
* writes a license that:
* free distribution of complete unaltered doc in any
* machine-readable form; over the net, on CD, on disk, ...
* printing of all or part of doc for any purpose except sale
No. This is not currently permitted. You've got to allow free
distribution in any media. "Free" means the distributor doesn't need
to pay anything for it, but may sell it (or give it away).
* creation and distribution of altered version under reasonable
* conditions (credit given, pointer to original provided, and
* license retained)
* But does not allow /sale/ of any printed form, e.g. in a book or as a
* magazine article, without a separate license.
* Methinks it would make some publishers happy; by negotiating a suitable
* deal with an author they could get copyright protection for their print
* I'm not considering doing this myself, and am not much interested in
* debating the ethics of it.
* My question is whether the LDP would find that an acceptable license.
* I'd say they clearly should since the "allows" section above gives
* them everything they actually need to achieve sensible LDP goals.
No, it's not currently acceptable and IMO should not be. See the
first part of this email.
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