Re: The How-to-get-started Manual (fwd)
At 10:48 PM 12/28/98 +0200, Arto Astala wrote:
>Ardo van Rangelrooij wrote:
>> > . Designating authors and maintainers
>> I'm not sure what you mean by this.
>Do you mean if authorship would be given to 'Debian Documentation
>and contributing people would be listed in intro or some other
>Or, do you mean how to properly credit original authors and
>etc. Or, do you mean what kind of email addresses, if any, should
>given? Or, something else altogether?
My question was pretty simple, I meant the "rules" about crediting the
original authors and the maintainers, about keeping bibliographies,
footnotes, and other citation mechanisms.
I think your questions are very good because they get at the deeper issues.
It would be simpler if everything was owned by the DDP Team because then
we could move stuff around without the travail of having to preserve the
copyright history of the pieces. That's where my WGPL post came from a few
days ago. I was trying to figure a way around this issue of preserving the
document pedigree. I don't want to resurect the discussion of the WGPL
because it is off topic.
The notion of ownership by the team, under a workable license, would be a
fine alternative for me. It would inhibit the free usage of DDP documents
by other teams but would certainy work within the Team. CVS will always
show the history of who made what changes. It is easy for me to give up
the right to claim authorship but that may be a problem for other people.
My particular problem is more painful that usual. I will be writing the
Debian Dictionary (DD) and want to be able to simply grab already written
definitions from anywhere in the documentation set and drop them into the
new document. Fair use would let me do that but only if I cite the source
from which I copied. That seems like it would make the DD awkward to use
because I would have to include so many citations. Maybe I could include a
Bibliography but that would be a usability nuisance too. I could simply
rewrite everything, It would be nice to have a better alternative.
The matter is sticky because copyright law is so precise. Title 17 of the
U.S. Code., "201. Ownership of copyright"
<http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/title17/2-201.html> talks about "(c)
Contributions to Collective Works" and requires "an express transfer of the
copyright or of
any rights under it" to move the ownership from the individual pieces up to
the level of the collective work.
We could have everyone sign a document that assigns all copyright to the
LDP but that would be a pain. I think it is better to work out a good
copyright notice that we can use with our email and with the documents we
create. I am against the public domain because I believe copyleft is worth
fighting for, even in documentation.
MAINTAINER EMAIL GROUPS
On another topic you raised, I posted "Maintainer Email" on 12/1 that
discussed using maintainer email groups rather that maintainer email
addresses. I still think that might be a good idea because it softens the
issues of changing "ownership" over time.
Copyright(c) 1998 Lyno Sullivan; this work is free and may be
copied, modified and distributed under the GNU Library General
Public License (LGPL) <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lgpl.html> and
it comes with absolutely NO WARRANTY; mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org