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Re: xfig-doc has license problems in examples

On Tue, Oct 16, 2001 at 12:44:56AM +0200, Sunnanvind Briling Fenderson wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 15, 2001 at 05:44:40PM -0400, Raul Miller wrote:
> > Copyright law does not apply to copyright licenses the way it applies
> > to copyrightable works.
> A copyright license is a copyrightable work.

We had this discussion in the past.

The GNU GPL is more than just a license, it is a preamble, followed by the
license text itself, followed by a section called "How to Apply...".

The preamble and "How to Apply" is copyrighted.  The license text itself is
probably copyrighted, but it can not prevent you from writing a similar
license for your works.  Copyright can not prevent you from writing a
license or your own works, this would be absurd.

So the only way to "rip off" the GPL is to take *just* the license text and
change the parts you want to be different.  Don't copy the preamble and "How
to Apply" section and you are fine.

I have said this before, we should (probably must, let's not argue about
that) ship the GPL with the software packages, and it is not important for
us to require the preamble of the GPL itself to be free.

About documentation:  We should not accept non-free documentation or data.
However, I think that the FDL is a good license and should be allowed.  But
maybe this requires more careful analysis, and probably a decision on a
case-by-case basis (depending on the list of invariant sections in the


`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' Debian http://www.debian.org brinkmd@debian.org
Marcus Brinkmann              GNU    http://www.gnu.org    marcus@gnu.org

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