Re: install documentation attribution/copyright in ubuntu & debian.
On Sat, Jan 03, 2009 at 03:49:27PM -0800, Ian Kelling wrote:
> I've used other distros, today I decided to try out ubuntu and debian and I
> noticed something that doesn't seem right. I was reading the install
> documentation and decided to compare with ubuntu. I first noticed that this
> was almost the same as this page
> Then I noticed that a lot of the debian and ubuntu install documentation
> seems to be the exact same sentences.
Indeed, the Ubuntu guide is derived closely from the Debian one (since
the same goes for the code) and duly acknowledges this. (I'm a Debian
contributor too and would have absolutely no truck with any attempt to
remove attribution or relicense.)
> Ok, thats fine, but then I noticed that the debian install doc is
> copyrighted gplv2 and ubuntu one is copyrighted as Creative Commons
> ShareAlike 3.0 License. From what I've read, you can't relicense a derived
> work either way with these licenses without the original authors permission.
This is a misstatement of the Ubuntu licensing.
The help.ubuntu.com page you link to has a link at the bottom ("Legal")
"Unless stated otherwise on the front page of the document, the
documents are made available under the Creative Commons ShareAlike 3.0
The front page of the document in question has a link labelled "Legal
Notice", which says:
"This manual is free software; you may redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Please refer to
the license in Appendix F, GNU General Public License."
So we are absolutely *not* relicensing the installation guide. As you
note, this would be a breach of copyright law.
> So then I looked at the documents and debian's says copyright by "Debian
> Installer team". Ubuntu's says it is "maintained by the Ubuntu
> documentation team" and has a list peoples names of contributors. Hmmm...
to "Major Contributions"
which is identical to Debian's except for one added sentence.
I'll file a bug about the contributor list confusion, but it is intended
to apply to the help.ubuntu.com site as a whole, not to the installation
guide. It would probably be best if the Legal link at the bottom of each
installation-guide page were simply removed, as it is superseded by
material in the document itself.
I will come down upon anyone in Ubuntu who breaches Debian copyright
like the living fires of hell. Fortunately, that doesn't appear to have
happened here; just some confusing (although accurate if read rather
carefully) wording, that I think has good intentions but didn't consider
this case very well.
Colin Watson [firstname.lastname@example.org]