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Re: GFDL in main

Russ Allbery <rra@debian.org> writes:

> Jakub Wilk <jwilk@debian.org> writes:
>> First one should ask upstream if they are willing to relicense the
>> documentation. If they are not, then removing the documentation or
>> moving it into a non-free package is the only option left.
> It's worth noting that the FSF (which is the largest offender in terms of
> using these GFDL terms, at least in my experience) recently put in place a
> policy allowing maintainers to remove them.  It apparently isn't part of
> the GNU Coding Standards (I know about it from mail to various GNU
> software mailing lists), so I don't have a cite, but I believe the rule is
> that invariant sections can be removed provided that the manual is shorter
> than some number of pages, where the limit is quite long.  The intent was
> to allow removal of invariant sections on every manual that was not long
> enough that the FSF might want to print it as a book.

I believe that the policy is implied by the following section
from the GNU maintainer's guide:


The section recommends the following notice for documentation:

    Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this
    document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation
    License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the
    Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Sections being
    ``GNU General Public License'', with the Front-Cover Texts
    being ``A GNU Manual'', and with the Back-Cover Texts as in
    (a) below.  A copy of the license is included in the section
    entitled ``GNU Free Documentation License''.

However, later on it says that the GPL only needs to be included
"if the manual is over 400 pages, or if the FSF thinks it might
be a good choice for publishing on paper".  It also says, "If
your manual is not published by the FSF, and under 400 pages, you
can omit both cover texts."  Therefore, a manual that is not
(likely to be?) published on paper, and under 400 pages long, can
omit all invariant sections and cover texts.

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