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Re: Clarifying non-free parts of the GNU FDL

Roger Leigh wrote:

> During discussion with gimp-print upstream about the potential
> problems with the GNU FDL and the possibility of relicensing it, a
> number of issues have cropped up, which I'd be grateful if you could
> assist with.  I have pointed to Manoj's draft position statement as a
> summary of the issues with the FDL found to date, which we have been
> discussing.
> If the documentation was to remain GFDL licenced, would be possible to
> add a clarification to the licence in order to counter the main
> problems which would affect this work?  The work is written in
> Docbook/SGML, and contains no invariant sections.
> Specifically, would it be possible to
> 1) Allow storage/transmission on encrypted filesystems/links to
>    counter the "DRM restriction"?
Should be; can we come up with a good clause?

"In addition, despite and contrary to the requirements in section 2 of the
GFDL, the copyright holders grant you the right to use technical measures
to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of 
(1) copies you make and do not distribute
(2) copies you distribute, provided that you also make an unobstructed,
uncontrolled copy available to the same recipients.

> 2) Not require forcing distribution of transparent copies with bulk
>    opaque copies?
Should be; can we come up with a good clause?  ;-)

"In addition, the copyright holders exempt you from the requirements in
section 3 of the GFDL."

> If these clarifications were to be made, would the licence be
> considered DFSG-free?
Um... I think so.  Were there any other problem clauses?

> Are there any other possible amendments that 
> could be made to make the licence DFSG-free?
> Lastly, are there any alternative licences available?  The author (and
> copyright holder) of the work would prefer a licence suited to
> documentation rather than programs (which I don't disagree with).

You do realize that GFDL'ed documentation with a GPL'ed program means that
moving stuff between the documentation and the program is possible *only*
for the copyright holder.  This is tedious in the extreme when the program
or documentation has multiple copyright holders.  

Note that there are multiple copyright holders whenever more than one person
contributes creative material of more than about 15 lines, unless one of
them is employing all the others (work-for-hire), or they signed written,
paper copyright assignments.

GFDL/GPL dual-licensing would be a good thing for that reason. 

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