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GPL as documentation license

I am way off topic of the original thread <Re: Debian HOWTO> so I started a
new one.

Here's my bottom line on licenses and the reasons I am staying firm on my
committment to use the GPL for all my creative works.  I will study the
licenses you recommend but do not forsee changing my position.  One person
slyly recommend that I raise the discussion in bit.listserv.geodesic.  He
did it as a joke, his way of pointing out the purist nature of my position.
 There is a nickel story I'll gladly share in email but let me stick to the
penny version here.

Basically, for reasons I will get to in a minute, I can only consider a
license that embodies the spirit of copyleft as documented at
<http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/copyleft.html>.  If RMS believes a
documentation license embodies the spirit of copyleft, then I would hope he
would be willing to list it on that page and then I will consider it for my
own use.  If the Debian documentation license truly embodies copyleft, I
will willingly join a crusade to persuade RMS to list it on his copyleft page.

I understand that the GPL is software centric but it does include the magic
words, in Section 0:

	"This License applies to any program or other work which contains a notice
placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed under the terms
of this General Public License. The "Program", below, refers to any such
program or work".

If I consider a Work to be anything covered under U.S. Code, Title 17, then
the GPL works pretty well.  Don't get me wrong, there are a couple of
things I would like to see in a documentation license that are not in the
GPL.  I would be happy to discuss those in the debian-docs listserv if
people are interested. 
I am taking this very narrow position because I am on a mission to persuade
the State of Minnesota government to copyleft all government information
and software they create and to use free software (in place of Wintel
solutions), to the maximum extent possible.  I plan to ask to a hearing on
the notion of writing "copyleft" into Minnesota statute as the required
form of licensing.  I am also writing a very strongly worded article, about
the vast wastage of taxpayer money when the government uses non-free
software, that I plan to push into the political picture after the
elections.  These are big dreams and I know it but most of the free time
life is focused on furthering these goals.  I am publishing various
articles that discuss the topic directly or that discuss other things but
demonstrate the application of copyleft to writing.  And, as you can now
clearly see, I am pretty shameless on this -- I seldom pass up an
opportunity to segue into my favorite topic. <g>

I studied the matter of licenses intently, even going to the point of
creating my own license for a while.  I finally settled on the GPL.
Because I have such a firm mission in mind, it is important that I pick a
philosohphical place and stay put.  I understand this is a dogmatic
position but I believe it is necessary, given my mission.  Is the GPL
"truth" and have I discovered it?  I often remember the words of a great
philosopher and story teller:

	"I have seen several entirely sincere people who thought they were
(permanent) Seekers after Truth. They sought diligently, persistently,
carefully, cautiously, profoundly, with perfect honesty and nicely adjusted
judgment--until they believed that without doubt or question they had found
the Truth. That was the end of the search. The man spent the rest of his
life hunting up shingles wherewith to protect his Truth from the weather.
If he was seeking after political Truth he found it in one or another of
the hundred political gospels which govern men in the earth; if he was
seeking after the Only True Religion he found it in one or another of the
three thousand that are on the market. In any case, when he found the Truth
he sought no further; but from that day forth, with his soldering-iron in
one hand and his bludgeon in the other he tinkered its leaks and reasoned
with objectors." 
(from What is Man?) 
-- Mark Twain 

At 08:25 PM 9/2/98 -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
In reply to <Re: Debian HOWTO>
>[sorry for the massive cc's - I'm not sure who's actually subscribed to
>this list]
>On Wed, 2 Sep 1998, Lyno Sullivan wrote:
>> In full consideration of the situation, I have made the personal choice to
>> copyleft all my creative works under the GPL and I generally recommend it
>> as the best way to maximize the co-creation, collaborative process (IMHO).
>The GPL is probably wrong, because it's a software license. Look at the
>much simpler license on the Debian Tutorial, also used on other GNU
>manuals and the LDP User's Guide.

Copyright (c) 1998 Lyno Sullivan; this digital object is free and
may be copied, modified and distributed under the GNU General
Public License (GPL) at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html and
it comes with absolutely NO WARRANTY;  mailto:lynosull@maroon.tc.umn.edu

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