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FunnelWeb manuals copyright issues



Hi Ross,

I have recently packaged FunnelWeb and its docs (in separate packages)
for inclusion in Debian GNU/Linux.  However, I had not realized that
the docs were not covered by the GPL.

Reading the copyright notice available at
http://www.ross.net/funnelweb/tutorial/copyright.html, I realize there
are problems for including them after all, because all packages
included must comply with the Debian Free Software Guidelines
(http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines).

So I think you may be interested in knowing that we won't be able to
ship the manuals together with the software - that is, people
receiving a Debian CDROM won't be able to browse the docs if they do
not have an inet connection.  

Here are the points I spotted - I'd be grateful to you to confirm my
reading of the copyright.


I think the licence conflicts with:

- section 1 (free redistribution) - the copyright does not seem to
allow distribution of the docs without the software.

- section 2 (source code) - I thought, reading those docs, that the
HTML format you distribute may not be the "prefered format for
modification".

- section 3 (Derived Works) - these do not appear to be allowed.

Also, the restriction on not putting them on online web sites may
cause problems, because it would be easy (and used to be the default)
on Debian boxes to export the doc directory as http://machine/doc/...,
and the user may then inadvertantly violate the licence.

I thought at first it would be a possible candidate for the "non-free"
distribution that we maintain as a service to the community, but the
copyright does not appear to allow distributing the docs separately
from the program, so I'm afraid we can't even distribute it like this.

The last possibility I see to have the FunnelWeb docs integrated in
the Debian documentation system, is to provide a "wrapper package",
which will allow the admin to automatically download the docs and
install them, but this, as well as the non-free solution, would
require net access for users who would like to browse the doc.

If you wish to address this problem, I'm willing to discuss this, as
are people reading the debian-legal mailing list - possibly a solution
can be found, which would still make you happy while allowing us to
make the docs available.


In the hope we'll resolve these issues quickly,
Best Regards,
-- 
Yann Dirson    <ydirson@altern.org> |    Why make M$-Bill richer & richer ?
debian-email:   <dirson@debian.org> |   Support Debian GNU/Linux:
                                    | Cheaper, more Powerful, more Stable !
http://www.altern.org/ydirson/      | Check <http://www.debian.org/>


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