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Re: GPL as a license for documentation: What about derived works?

Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> schrieb:

> Frank Küster wrote:
>> I hope I have understood most of the things you wrote, and it seems
>> clearer to me now what you can do, and what you can't do, by releasing a
>> text under GPL.
>> But still there's a lot of cruft in it that might be just confusing for
>> an author who considers GPL for his text, or even add confusion to a
>> possible lawsuit.
>> Would it be possible to create something like a reduced form of the GPL,
>> with "program" replaced by "text", "object code" by "typeset form", and
>> with all the executable-specific cruft rippeed off (or replaced)?
> You could (if you removed the GPL preamble as required by the FSF), but
> the resulting license is very likely to be incompatible with the GPL.

I wouldn't care about this. Remember, I'm not talking about the
documentation for a particular program, but about licensing some other
technical or non-technical documentation. Something that can stand for
itself, might be useful for users of different kinds of software (or
totally unrelated to computers), and as it is written might be
completely inappropriate for inclusion into the manual of some
particular program.

> strongly recommend just using the standard GPL.  If you really feel that
> such clarifications are necessary, you could add a (non-binding)
> clarification stating that "program" corresponds to "text" and "object
> code" corresponds to "typeset form", and add an exception to any clauses
> you don't care about.  However, I don't think that's a good idea, and I
> don't think people will be confused by a GPLed document.

I know for sure that people are confused by the GPL when they consider a
license for their document. I have talked to people that were
confused. And after all, if the FAQ of the FSF isn't faked ("What we
hoped you would ask us"), the question for a license appropriate for
documentation is frequently asked to them.

Why do you think it wouldn't be a good idea?

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

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