Opinions on the PDL
A few months ago I asked for opinions on the Public Documentation
License (http://www.openoffice.org/licenses/PDL.html) and I got two
In addition to what was said on those posts, I have a concern over
3.3. Description of Modifications.
All Documentation to which You contribute must identify the changes
You made to create that Documentation and the date of any change. You
must include a prominent statement that the Modification is derived,
directly or indirectly, from Original Documentation provided by the
Initial Writer and include the name of the Initial Writer in the
Documentation or via an electronic link that describes the origin or
ownership of the Documentation. The foregoing change documentation
may be created by using an electronic program that automatically
tracks changes to the Documentation, and such changes must be
available publicly for at least five years following release of the
My concerns are:
1. It's not clear how precise the list of modifications must be.
It's not clear if I can say "edited section 4" or I must include
every sentence that was changed. This legal uncertainty makes me
2. For colaborative work, where you have 20 contributors passing the
file around from one to the next (this is how my project works), this
seems like an undue burden.
3. The 5 years thing makes the burden even worse.
4. I don't know how this license would deal with a derivative of a
/\/_/ No trees were harmed in the creation of this email.
\/_/ However, a significant number of electrons were
/ were severely inconvenienced.