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Re: old and new GNU documentation licenses, and the some of the manuals to which they apply

On Tue, Sep 09, 2003 at 11:45:31AM -0400, Peter S Galbraith wrote:
> Claus Färber <claus@xn--frber-gra.muc.de> wrote:
> > Peter S Galbraith  schrieb/wrote:
> > > Claus Färber <claus@xn--frber-gra.muc.de> wrote:
[I wrote:]
> > > > > Yes, though it should be kept in mind that the GPL-incompatibility
> > > > > problem remains.  We *still* won't be able to drop hunks of these
> > > > > manuals into their corresponding programs as on-line documentation,
> > > > > unless the same text happens to already exist somewhere else under the
> > > > > GNU GPL.
> > > > 
> > > > Sorry, but that's plain wrong. For a GPL program including an online
> > > > help viewer or calling an external help viewer, the online help is
> > > > just "data" that does not have to match the licence of the program.
> > 
> > > That is _not_ what he meant.  He meant cut/paste docs from the manual
> > > into the software to have it displayed either as a tooltip or
> > > otherwise.   The documentation needs to become an intrinsic part of
> > > the code to do that.
> > 
> > It can be a seperate XML (or whatever) file that's only read by the
> > software.
> But that's not what he meant!  Please don't change what he said to fit
> your view.

Okay, since there appears to be some confusion over "what I meant"...

I meant that portions (or the whole) of a work under the traditional GNU
documentation license will, in general, not be able to be physically
incorporated into works under the GNU GPL by any parties other than a
copyright holder of both works (which doesn't help the rest of the
world, such an work would not be sub-licensable).

I am referring to scenarios like cribbing portions of the GDB Manual for
the elaboration of GDB's online help system, such that those portions of
the GDB Manual are inside the GDB program itself.

I am *not* referring to viewer/document scenarios.  As far as I can
tell, a generalized document viewer under *any* license would not be
creating a "derivative work" comprising itself and the viewed document,
which could be under the traditional GNU documentation license, the GNU
FDL, the GNU GPL, or some other license.

However, the FSF may not agree.  It may be splitting hairs to
distinguish between the above scenario and the dynamic loader's actions
to produce an image in memory of an executable program by referencing
shared objects.  I can't speak for the FSF; I can only speak for myself.

G. Branden Robinson                |    One man's theology is another man's
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    belly laugh.
branden@debian.org                 |    -- Robert Heinlein
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |

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