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Summary: Is Open Publication License v1.0 compatible?, was Re: GPL+ for docs

Oleksandr Moskalenko <malex@tagancha.org> writes:

> My understanding of how this discussion developed is that a GPL
> license + a clause about allowing small non-commercial _paper_
> printing runs to not have to provide sources, applied to software
> documentation would be DFSG-free and is generally recommended for
> documentation in Debian.

Yup.  The idea is that the source requirement on the GPL means you must
distribute an electronic version alongside otherwise.

> On the other had OPLv1.0 cannot be made DFSG-free and should not be
> bothered with, unless the goal of the upstream _is_ to stay non-free
> (i.e. restricting commercial _paper_ printing to require their written
> permission) until they publish a book as it is in this case. So, they
> should be left alone until they are ready for GPL.

Well, if they're not prepared to publish a paper version yet, they could
probably simply go with the GPL, since that would limit paper versions
to requiring source (e.g., on a CD in the book).  I imagine most
commercial publishers would balk at that (and if they don't, you get
their cover art and editorial changes).

Here's a summary, since it doesn't seem like anyone has anything more to
say on the subject:

--- Debian-legal summary ---

The OPL (Open Publication License) is not DFSG free:

- It requires the original publisher and author to appear on all outer
  surfaces of a book, and defines how they should appear.  This is a
  significant restriction on modification.
- The person who makes any modifications must be identified, which
  violates the dissident test.

As a copyleft license for documents debian-legal suggests the GPL with
explanatory text (i.e., not part of the license) explaining that the
author believes the preferred form for making modifications (i.e.,
source) to be an electronic version in the original format.  (Note that
this is not legal advice, for that you should seek a lawyer.)

If the goal is a compromise between allowing paper-only versions and
copyleft, debian-legal suggests using the GPL with an additional
exception to the source distribution requirement for small-scale or
non-commercial distribution.  As always, it's best if the exception can
be dropped at the choice of the recipient, so as to maintain GPL

--- End debian-legal summary ---

(Not cc'ing, since you're evidently on the list.)

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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