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Re: free licensing of TEI Guidelines

Scripsit MJ Ray <mjr@dsl.pipex.com>

> > Apparently Debian finds these minor restrictions acceptable. So I've
> > been thinking that if we can write either
> > a) a copyleft notice that requires those who modify the Guidelines to
> >    retain unmodified or delete in its entirety the section that
> >    defines TEI conformance, or

> Is required deletion significantly better than required invariant
> retention? I'm not sure.

If the deletion is required, it must be possible - then Debian could
at least distribute copies with the section removed. (And then ship a
cleanroom rephrasing of the relevant information in README.Debian).

> > b) a copyleft notice that requires that modified versions of the
> >    Guidelines describe documents with a different root element name
> >    (perhaps, similar to "<?xml", reserving any string that matches
> >    "^[Tt][Ee][Ii]") and to not use the TEI namespace.

> Preventing non-TEI forms using the TEI namespace seems fine to
> me, but I could be wrong.

I think you're wrong. One should be allowed to derive a document that
described the official TEI elements as well as Microsoft's
(hypothetical) namespace-invacing extension. The license of the
specification cannot stop Microsoft from implementing its own
extensions; it would add insult to injury if the license helped
Microsoft keep their extensions secret (by making it more difficult
for white-hatted reverse engineers to reuse text from the original
document when describing their findings).

> I strongly encourage you to use a common copyleft notice rather than
> writing your own and consider using digital signatures to authenticate
> official versions, quite apart from the copyleft notice.

I agree.

Henning Makholm                        "I have seen men with a *fraction* of
                                 your trauma pray to their deity for death's
                         release. And when death doesn't arrive immediately,
                       they reject their deity and begin to beg to another."

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