[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: xfig-doc has license problems in examples

On Mon, Oct 15, 2001 at 05:44:40PM -0400, Raul Miller wrote:
> I think you're confused.

I know I am confused. I'm a very confused person, generally.

I don't think I am in this matter, though, albeit I might (or I
mightn't) be misinformed.

> Copyright law does not apply to copyright licenses the way it applies
> to copyrightable works.

A copyright license is a copyrightable work.

> Anyone is free to take the text of the GPL and modify it for their own
> use -- in contexts where they own the copyright. 

The GPL says:

"Copyright (C) 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <snip adress>
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
license document, but changing it is not allowed."

Ask the FSF legal team if you doubt me (and if I'm wrong, please let
me know).

> It's illegal to change
> the license and pretend that the changed license applies to what was
> originally liccensed -- unless you're the copyright holder.

...and you have to be copyright holder of the license as well, if the
license is long enough or good enough to count as copyrightable work.

At the risk of on the one hand being repetitious, and on the second
hand adding to my streak of ignored suggestions[1], I say that Debian
should have Free Data Guidelines as well as DFSG, and maybe some Free
Documentation Guidelines as well.

FDL:ed documentation is certainly free enough, but do they fall fully
under the DFSG? And when it comes to data... even though, in my
personal belief system, non-personal information should be free and
all modifications to any data should allowed as long as the
modifications are easily trackable or reversable - but this is not the
world we live in today and it would be a Good Thing for Debian to be
able to distribute text, images and sound that may freely be copied,
but not modified.

Functional work is a different story, like software. There,
modifications have to be allowed.

But for logos and licenses and manuals and political statements? Sure,
it'd be great to be able to make modified versions (I work on a
copylefted art/literature magazine), but is it necessary?

There's probably hundreds of non-DFSG-free data tidbits in Debian main
already. Like licenses.

Sunnanvind (now you guys battle it out, I just pop in and spit out
suggestions and point out facts. Hope you don't mind.)

[1] Splitting non-US. Anyone thinking on it?

Reply to: