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

Raul Miller <moth@debian.org> wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 31, 2005 at 12:09:18PM +0100, Frank Küster wrote:
>> Would it be possible to create something like a reduced form of the GPL,
> ...
> This isn't really the right forum for that.

Well, hm, yes, no. Indeed the case that made me post this question dealt
with a new document. But on the other hand, I have a problem as a Debian
developer with existing documents in existing packages: Namely that I
have to approach upstream authors and tell them "We don't think the GFDL
you have chosen for your document is a free license". The logical
question they ask me is "What else should I use as a license?"

Therefore, I assume that more maintainers will get to this question once
sarge is released. We should be prepared and have a good answer to

And it *might* even be that having a good answer to it will increase our
chances to get FSF to relisence their stuff: It's not only about the
FSF, but also about individual contributors who might put some pressure
on them; and they might be more inclined to do this when they see us as
a constructive participant of the discussion¹

> Maybe the fsf licensing forum would be better?

Do you expect that they would recommend anything else but GFDL? Or if
there are differing opinions there, that there will be more than just
one more flamewar about the GFDL?

Furthermore, I am a Debian developer who is primarily skilled for
doing my work on my packages, and who sometimes has a good relation to
upstream authors. But I don't have much experience with legal
considerations, and I wouldn't want to come out of such a discussion
with some recommendation to an upstream author, only to find later that
the license isn't approved by debian-legal - for reasons I understand,
but couldn't find myself.

Therefore I am asking here for advice and help. 

Regards, Frank

¹even if in particular their cases, the obvious alternative is the
license of the documented program, GPL
Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

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