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Re: A Free GFDL?

Emmanuel Colbus wrote:

> 1) Is it legal?

I can't answer that one (and even if I could, I'd probably be wrong or overlook something). If you're planning on using this license for something important, you should probably see a contract lawyer with qualifications in French and American law.

2) Is it free?

My French is not wonderful, but if 9 does indeed allow relicensing under the GPL in all situations, then I think a document under this license would be DFSG-free: it's my understanding that as long as a work has one set of terms that is Free, a it is considered to be Free, even if it can additionally be licensed under terms which are not.

(Example: GPL's section 3c is non-free, as it forbids commercial redistribution. This isn't a problem though, because 3a (which is free) can be used instead).

If it can be GPLed only under certain circumstances, then we have to look at the GFDL+permissions license, which I don't think I'm qualified to do.

> 3) Do you find some concerns into it?

Clause 13 appears to be a mandatory upgrade clause: there doesn't seem to be any way to license a work under version 1.0 only. Upgrade clausing in the license is comparatively unusual: it's most often seen in asymmetric licenses like the NPL, where it can be used to grant additional permissions to the license author that they might have forgotten about. Authors may be concerned that the author of this license can arbitrarily relicense their works

The more common way of doing an upgradable license is to not mention upgrading in the license at all, but rather in the copyright statement for the work; this way any author that does not want their work to be upgradable can simply use a different copyright statement.

Example: the GPL's suggested statement of '...under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.', which can be replaced by '...under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License only.'

Lewis Jardine

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