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Re: Is Open Publication License v1.0 compatible?

Oleksander Moskalenko wrote:
>* Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> [2004-02-28 12:21:11 +0000]:
>> Scripsit Oleksandr Moskalenko <malex@tagancha.org>
>> > I'd like to package an html manual for the package I'm preparing.
>> > However, it's covered by the Open Publication License v 1.0.
>> > http://opencontent.org/openpub/
>> > Is it DFSG-free?
>> Hmm..
>> | Any publication in standard (paper) book form shall require the
>> | citation of the original publisher and author. The publisher and
>> | author's names shall appear on all outer surfaces of the book. On
>> | all outer surfaces of the book the original publisher's name shall
>> | be as large as the title of the work and cited as possessive with
>> | respect to the title.
>> I find this clause non-free, like the similar language in the GFDL.
Agree.  It puts prohibitive and frankly absurd conditions on other publishers 
and authors, at least if it applies to modified versions (and it appears to).
>> | 2. The person making the modifications must be identified and the
>> |    modifications dated. -
>> This seems to fail the Dissident Test.
Not necessarily, depending on how "identified" is interpreted (aliases OK?),
but maybe.

>> | The location of the original unmodified document must be identified.
>> What do we think of this? It seems to prevent any distribution of
>> derivate documents if the original has been lost or at least one does
>> not know any location where the original can be found.
Ick.  This might be construed to correspond to patch-file-only distribution in 
some sense, so it might possibly be DFSG-free, but it's definitely bad.

>> Again let's try to find some internal consensus first.

Oleksander Moskalenko wrote:
>Later I had a conversation with both upstream authors who were quite
>forthcoming in their attempts to resolve this issue. However, their
>argument was that they chose the license in question simply because
>there weren't any other documentation licenses that would be free, but
>yet restricted the publication of the written documents by a commercial
>entity that would not be required to contribute back to the project.
On its face, this sounds like a non-free requirement -- you can't require that 
people send you their changes -- but see below.

>In my limited understanding it means that they believe that existing
>documentation licenses do not "restrict taking the freedoms away" in a
>way that GPL does it for the software.

Well, if that's all they want, tell them to *use the GPL*.  It's a perfectly 
good license for documentation, and has the advantage (for GPLed programs) 
that material can be freely moved between the documentation and help strings, 
comments, etc. in the program.

If the GPL doesn't permit something they want to permit, tell them to 
dual-license under the GPL and whatever other license they want.

>The ultimate question, of course, is what is the way for software
>documentation to be included into Debian?
Documentation in electronic form is also software.  License it under a free
software license.

> What license shall be used or
>what modifications shall be made to an existing license?
Under a free software license, preferably the same license as the program
being documented.

> Is it possible
>to release the documentation under a separate license _exclusively_ to
No, that violates "license must not be exclusive to Debian" in the DFSG.

> The question for this particular cas is how can the above be
>done, while retaining something of the sort of OPLv1.0 Article VI clause
>"B. To prohibit any publication of this work or derivative works in
>whole or in part in standard (paper) book form for commercial purposes
>is prohibited unless prior permission is obtained from the copyright
This is clearly not DFSG free.  Sorry.

>To accomplish this, add the phrase 'Distribution of the work or
>derivative of the work in any standard (paper) book form is prohibited
>unless prior permission is obtained from the copyright holder.' to the
>license reference or copy."
>as that seems to be the only concern of the upstream authors in this
Well, talk to them and see if they're willing to GPL-license the docs.  Simple 
as that.  They may have complaints based on misunderstandings -- I will be 
happy to help correct any such misunderstandings.  :-)

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