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Re: The draft Position statement on the GFDL

Raul Miller wrote:
> On Mon, May 10, 2004 at 09:44:27AM -0700, Josh Triplett wrote:
>>Unless the derived document falls under section 7, "AGGREGATION WITH
>>INDEPENDENT WORKS" (which requires that more than half of the document
>>consists of independent work not derived from the GFDLed document), you
>>must put the covers around the entire derived work, not just part of it.
> This is a solvable problem.

How would you suggest solving it, given that you should be able to make
a derived work of the document as a whole without just referencing it?

(Also note that even if this "workaround" works and you only need to
include the Cover Texts and Invariant Sections in an appendix, that
would still be non-free; this "workaround" only solves the inaccuracy
problem, not the Freeness problem.)

>> Also, are you suggesting that you would not build on the content
>>directly, but only include portions of it in an appendix and refer to in
>>in the main document?  If so, see below.
> Exactly.

A Free license should allow you to create a derivative work of the
document, instead of just referring to it.  For example, you should be
able to write a manpage for "ls" based on the coreutils documentation,
without including the entire document in an "appendix" of the manpage,
or including the Cover Texts on the "front and back covers" of the
manpage.  It should also be possible to take the entire GNU coreutils
manual, and modify it to document a different implementation of the same
commands, without having to include inaccurate Cover Texts or Invariant
Sections (or accurate ones either, for that matter).

>>>Note that content under a "patches only" license will give you much
>>>worse problems when incorporating it (perhaps as examples, or perhaps
>>>pulling documentation from a help menu item) into other documentation.
>>DFSG4 allows "patches only" licenses, but only if they satisfy the rest
>>of DFSG4, which requires that "The license must explicitly permit
>>distribution of software built from modified source code.".
> Where's the DFSG requirement that requires the license permit distribution
> without the unpatched sources?

I don't know what the consensus is about licenses that require source to
accompany the binary in the same package, but even if they were allowed,
a Free license must still allow derivative works based on those sources
and some patches, and those derivative works must not be required to
include the unmodified original work or any particular unmodified
portions of the original (either large Invariant Sections or small Cover

- Josh Triplett

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