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Re: DGPL [firstname.lastname@example.org: Doc license]
I got this from RMS a couple of days ago, and I've been reading and
thinking about it ever since. There are a couple of passages that I
don't feel so good about, and I'll mention them below.
Guylhem Aznar wrote:
> "They who can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
> safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
one of my favorite quotes. :)
> Subject: Doc license
> Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 10:21:00 -0800
> From: Richard Stallman <email@example.com>
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Here's the latest draft of the doc license.
> Would you like to send it for some further review?
> GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.0
> 0. PREAMBLE
> The general idea of copyleft is to use the copyright system to ensure
> that everyone who possesses a copy or a derivative of a certain work
> has the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without
> modifying it. A copyleft license gives you certain rights, above and
> beyond the meager rights copyright law allows you. For example, the
> GNU General Public License is a copyleft license designed for free
> The GNU Project designed this, the GNU Free Documentation License, for
> use with documentation about free software. Copylefting the
> documentation for free software is particularly important because free
> software needs to come with documentation that gives users the same
> freedoms that the software gives them. However, this License can be
> used for any textual work, regardless of its subject matter, and
> regardless of whether it is released in the form of a printed book.
> For short works which become much larger if this License is added, we
> recommend simply putting them in the public domain.
I have no idea what the last sentence here could really mean, unless
he's referring to VERY short articles, in which case I almost follow.
> 1. APPLICABILITY
> This License applies to any manual or other work that contains a
> notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be distributed
> under the terms of this License. The "Manual", below, refers to any
> such manual or work. Any member of the public is a licensee, and is
> addressed as "you".
> A "Modified Version" of the Manual means any work containing the
> Manual or a portion of it, either copied verbatim, or with
> modifications and/or translated into another language.
> The "Invariant Sections" are certain appendices or front-matter
> sections of the Manual, which deal exclusively with nontechnical
> matters (such as the political views, histories, or legal positions of
> the authors), and whose titles are listed, as Invariant Sections, in
> the notice that says that the Manual is released under this License.
> The "Cover Texts" are certain short passages of text that are listed,
> as Front-Cover Texts or Back-Cover Texts, in the notice that says that
> the Manual is released under this License.
> A "Transparent" copy of the Manual means a machine-readable copy,
> represented in a format whose specification is available to the
> general public, whose contents can be viewed and edited directly and
> straightforwardly with generic text editors or (for images composed of
> pixels) generic paint programs or (for drawings) some widely available
> drawing editor, and that is suitable for input to text formatters or
> for automatic translation to a variety of formats suitable for input
> to text formatters. A copy made in an otherwise Transparent file
> format whose markup has been designed to thwart or discourage
> subsequent modification by readers is not Transparent. A copy that is
> not "Transparent" is called "Opaque".
> Examples of suitable formats for Transparent copies include plain
> ASCII without markup, Texinfo input format, LaTeX input format, SGML
> or XML using a publicly available DTD, and standard-conforming simple
> HTML designed for human modification. Opaque formats include
> PostScript, PDF, proprietary formats that can be read and edited only
> by proprietary word processors, SGML or XML for which the DTD and/or
> processing tools are not generally available, and the
> machine-generated HTML produced by some word processors for output
> purposes only.
> The "Title Page" means, for a printed book, the title page itself,
> plus such following pages as are needed to hold, legibly, the material
> this License requires to appear in the title page. For works in
> formats which do not have any title page as such, "Title Page" means
> the text near the most prominent appearance of the work's title,
> preceding the beginning of the body of the text.
> 2. VERBATIM COPYING
> You may copy and distribute the Manual in any medium, either
> commercially or noncommercially, provided that this License, the
> copyright notices, and the license notice saying this License applies
> to the Manual are reproduced in all copies, and that you add no other
> conditions whatsoever to those of this License. You may not use
> technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further
> copying of the copies you make or distribute. However, you may accept
> compensation in exchange for copies.
> You may also lend copies, under the same conditions stated above, and
> you may publicly display copies.
Perhaps better put as "You may also lend or display copies, under the
same conditions stated above." Unless you may display copies NOT under
the condidions above.
> It is requested, but not required, that you contact the authors of the
> Manual well before redistributing any large number of copies, to give
> them a chance to provide you with an updated version of the Manual.
> 3. COPYING IN QUANTITY
> If you publish printed copies of the Manual numbering more than 100,
> and the Manual's license notice requires Cover Texts, you must enclose
> the copies in covers that carry, clearly and legibly, all these Cover
> Texts: Front-Cover Texts on the front cover, and Back-Cover Texts on
> the back cover. Both covers must also clearly and legibly identify
> you as the publisher of these copies. The front cover must present
> the full title with all words of the title equally prominent and
> visible. You may add other material on the covers in addition.
> Copying with changes limited to the covers, as long as they preserve
> the title of the manual and satisfy these conditions, can be treated
> as verbatim copying in other respects.
Not sure on the issues with this one (ie, please make some comments),
but I would like to see the authors names displayed on the outside of
any printed works, as well as the publisher and the title.
> If the required texts for either cover are too voluminous to fit
> legibly, you should put the first ones listed (as many as fit
> reasonably) on the actual cover, and continue the rest onto adjacent
> If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Manual numbering
> more than 100, you must either include a machine-readable Transparent
> copy along with each Opaque copy, or state in or with each Opaque copy
> a publicly-accessible computer-network location containing a complete
> Transparent copy of the Manual, free of added material, which the
> general network-using public has access to download anonymously at no
> charge using public-standard network protocols. If you use the latter
> option, you must take reasonably prudent steps, when you begin
> distribution of Opaque copies in quantity, to ensure that this
> Transparent copy will remain thus accessible at the stated location
> until at least six months after the last time you distribute an Opaque
> copy (directly or through your agents or retailers) of that edition to
> the public.
> 4. MODIFICATIONS
> You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Manual under the
> conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the
> Modified Version under precisely this License, with the Modified
> Version filling the role of the Manual, thus licensing use of the
> Modified Version to whoever possesses a copy of it. In addition, you
> must do these things in the Modified Version:
> A. Entitle your Modified Version with the Manual's title, plus
> some additional words (or a subtitle) stating that the version has
> been modified, and distinguishing it from the Manual you started
> (Additions to the title are not required if the original publisher
> of the version you started with waives this requirement.)
> B. Mention the Manual's title on the Title Page (and on the Covers, if
> C. Mention on the Title Page at least one name of a person or entity
> responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified
> Version and/or publication of the Modified Version, and describe
> that entity's relationship to the Modified Version. (This
> may be waived by the original publisher of the version you started
> D. Retain on the Title Page or its continuation the authors' and
> names listed on the Manual's Title Page.
> E. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Manual.
> F. Add an appropriate copyright notice for your own work.
> G. Include immediately after the copyright notices a license notice
> giving the public permission to use the Modified Version under the
> of this License, in the form shown in the Addendum below.
> H. Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant Sections
> and required Cover Texts given in the Manual's license notice.
> I. Include an unaltered copy of this License.
> J. Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Manual for
> public access to a Transparent copy of the Manual, and likewise
> those network locations given in the Manual for any earlier
> works it was based on (but you may delete those for works
> that were published at least four years before the Manual itself).
> K. If the Manual has an Acknowledgements and/or Dedications section,
> preserve therein all the substance of each of the contributor
> acknowledgements and/or dedications stated therein.
> L. Preserve all the Invariant Sections of the Manual,
> unaltered in text and in their titles. Chapter numbers, and
> letters used to count appendices, are not considered part of the
> If the Modified Version includes new front-matter sections (or
> appendices) that deal exclusively with nontechnical matters, and
> contain no material copied from the Manual, you may at your option add
> the section titles of any or all of these sections to the list of
> Invariant Sections in the Modified Version. These titles must be
> distinct from any existing Invariant Sections' titles.
Perhaps another mention that these must be marked as modifications to
the original work?
> You may add a passage of up to five words as a Front-Cover Text, and a
> passage of up to 25 words as a Back-Cover Text, to the end of the list
> of Cover Texts in the Modified Version. Only one passage of
> Front-Cover Text and one of Back-Cover Text may be added by (or
> through arrangements made by) any one entity. If the Manual already
> includes a cover text for the same cover, previously added by you or
> by arrangement made by the same entity you are acting on behalf of,
> you may not add another; but you may replace the old one, on explicit
> permission from the previous publisher that added the old one.
> The author(s) and publisher(s) of the Manual do not by this License
> give permission to use their names for publicity or to assert or imply
> endorsement of any Modified Version.
> 5. COMBINING MANUALS
> You may combine the Manual with other manuals released under this
> License, under the terms defined in section 4 above for modified
> provided that you include all of the Invariant Sections of all of
> the original manuals, unmodified, in the combination, and list them
> all as Invariant Sections in your combined work.
> The combined work need only contain one copy of this License, and
> multiple identical Invariant Sections may be replaced with a single
> copy. If there are multiple Invariant Sections with the same name but
> different contents, make the title of each such section unique by
> adding at the end of it, in parentheses, the name of the original
> author or publisher of that section if known, or else a unique number.
> Make the same adjustment to the section title in the list of Invariant
> Sections in the license notice of the combined work.
> 6. AGGREGATION WITH INDEPENDENT WORKS
> A compilation of the Manual or its derivatives with other separate and
> independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or
> distribution medium, does not as a whole count as a Modified Version
> of the Manual, provided no compilation copyright is claimed for the
> compilation. In such a compilation, this License does not apply to
> the other self-contained works thus compiled with the Manual, on
> account of their being thus compiled, if they are not themselves
> derivative works of the Manual. If the Manual is less than one
> quarter of the entire aggregate, the Manual's Cover Texts may be
> placed on covers that surround only the Manual within the aggregate.
> Otherwise they must appear on covers around the whole aggregate.
> 7. TRANSLATION
> Translation is considered a kind of modification, so you may
> distribute translations of the manual under the terms of section 4.
> Replacing Invariant Sections with translations requires special
> permission from their copyright holders, but you may include
> translations of some or all Invariant Sections in addition to the
> original versions of these Invariant Sections. You may include a
> translation of this License provided that you also include the
> original English version of this License. In case of a disagreement
> between the translation and the original English version of this
> License, the original English version will prevail.
> 8. TERMINATION
> You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Manual except
> as expressly provided for under this License. Any other attempt to
> copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Manual is void, and will
> automatically terminate your rights under this License. However,
> parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this
> License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
> parties remain in full compliance.
> 9. FUTURE REVISIONS OF THIS LICENSE
> The Free Software Foundation may publish new, revised versions
> of the GNU Free Documentation License from time to time. Such new
> versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may
> differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.
> Each version of the License is given a distinguishing version number.
> If the Manual specifies that a particular numbered version of this
> License "or any later version" applies to it, you have the option of
> following the terms and conditions either of that specified version or
> of any later version that has been published by the Free Software
> Foundation. If the Manual does not specify a version number of this
> License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free
> Software Foundation.
I'm assuming that this means that if I say this work is distributed
under version 1.3, then it's distributed under version 1.3 or any later
version, and I don't have the option of saying that it's only valid for
version 1.3, and no others.
> 10. ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your manuals
> To use this License in a manual you have written, include a copy of
> the License in the manual and put the following copyright and
> license notices just after the title page:
> Copyright (c) YEAR YOUR NAME.
> Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this
> under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.0
> or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
> with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and
> with no Back-Cover Texts.
> A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
> Free Documentation License".
> If you have no Invariant Sections, write "with no Invariant Sections"
> instead of saying which ones are invariant. If you have no
> Front-Cover Texts, write "no Front-Cover Texts" instead of
> "Front-Cover Texts being LIST"; likewise for Back-Cover Texts.
I edited the above to be what it would be if you have no front cover,
back cover, or Invarian sections, because the way that it's phrased
isn't perfectly clear. My first instinct was to replace the words LIST
etc verbatem with the text from the next paragraph, which comes out as
really poor grammar.
> If your manual contains nontrivial examples of program code, we
> recommend releasing these examples in parallel under your choice of
> free software license, such as the GNU General Public License,
> to permit their use in free software.
This license feels pretty tough to me, which is probably a good thing.
I'm going to go back and really the OCL again (which I really liked the
first time I read it) and see what it says, just for comparison.
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