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Re: LDP in main?

On Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 03:48:41PM -0600, Colin Watson wrote:
> On Sun, 2 Dec 2001 at 16:48:03 -0500, David Merrill wrote:
> > On Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 08:14:22PM +0000, Colin Watson wrote:
> > > You're right, of course, although there has been a lot of discussion
> > > recently about how the DFSG should apply to documentation (especially
> > > documentation licensed under the GFDL, because exercising some of the
> > > options renders it non-free), so I'm not exactly sure where to draw the
> > > line.
> > 
> > We do not exercise any of those options. Only a few documents have
> > invariant sections. Does that make it non-free? What options do? I
> > would want to avoid them.
> I haven't followed the discussion in detail, but I understand the
> problems are with invariant sections used on anything but rather small
> sections of text (typically the copyright itself, a note about company
> sponsorship, or things like that). Documents without invariant sections
> are fine as far as I know.

What appears to be uncontroversial at this point is the following:

1) Works using some of the software licenses already recognized as
DFSG-free for documentation are not a problem.  E.g., the 2- and 3-
clause BSD licenses, the MIT/X Consortium license, and the GNU LGPL and
GPL are all completely unproblematic for documentation in Debian, to the
best of my knowledge.

2) Works licensed under the OPL meet the DFSG if and only if neither of
the license options listed in section 6 of the OPL are exercised.  (The
URL for the OPL is <http://www.opencontent.org/openpub/>.)

3) Works licensed under the traditional GNU documentation license, which

   Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
   manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are
   preserved on all copies.

   Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of
   this manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that
   the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a
   permission notice identical to this one.

   Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this
   manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified
   versions, except that this permission notice may be stated in a
   translation approved by the Free Software Foundation.

are DFSG-free.

4) Works licensed under the GNU FDL meet the DFSG if neither Invariant
Sections nor Cover Texts are used.  (The URL for the GNU FDL is

The 4-clause BSD license, and the GNU FDL when Invariant Sections and/or
Cover Texts are used, are currently the subject of intense debate on the
debian-legal mailing list.  Since I am currently a participant in this
debate, I won't characterize the arguments further to avoid accusations
of bias.

I apologize in advance if someone mails you insisting that every single
statement I have made above is 100% false.  That sometimes happens when
I make people angry.  :)  Please feel free to communicate any concerns
or questions you may have to the debian-legal mailing list.

G. Branden Robinson                |    I am sorry, but what you have
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    mistaken for malicious intent is
branden@debian.org                 |    nothing more than sheer
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    incompetence!     -- J. L. Rizzo II

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