Help Selecting License for Bacula Documentation
I'm forwarding, with permission, parts of a message from Kern Sibbald,
author of Bacula and its manual. The current manual, which has a
license listed at http://www.bacula.org/rel-manual/index.html, is not
DFSG-free. However, Kern has indicated a willingness to consider other
Kern's main concern (correct me if I'm wrong, Kern) is that he doesn't
want someone to be able to publish and sell paper versions of the
Is it possible to get a license that would be both DFSG-free and meet
Kern's requirements? Would the FDL work in some fashion (given our
recent GR on the subject?)
Please CC Kern on replies since he's not on debian-legal.
----- Forwarded message from Kern Sibbald <email@example.com> -----
From: Kern Sibbald <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 14 May 2006 13:41:36 +0200 (CEST)
To: John Goerzen <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Bacula Documentation License (& Debian Package Update)
> The first is a question about the license for the Bacula documentation.
> Sometime, probably when it switched to being its own package, it gained
> that license notice on the front page, and thus apparently changed from
> falling under the GPL to that license.
Well, in the beginning, there was no license for the manual. It was simply
copyrighted. I imagine that people assumed that it was under the GPL, but
it wasn´t or wasn´t meant to be under the GPL.
> I would like to be able to include the current documentation in Debian.
> Unfortunately, the new license isn't compatible with the Debian Free
> Software Guidelines -- see
> Specifically, the problems that I see are:
> #1 (Free Redistribution), since copying/selling is restricted
Yes, selling is restricted without permission. Copying is not restricted,
provided it is for your own use, or for release with Bacula. I´m not sure
I want to change this as I would be a bit annoyed if someone took the
manual, published it and then began to sell it. This is really something
different from selling software because there is no transformation of the
software, whereas printing a manual, binding it, ... is quite different,
and at least at the moment, if that happens (and I would really like to
see someone do it), I feel the project should receive a certain royalty as
is the case with any author. I may change how I feel about it in the
future, but that is my general idea at the moment.
If the Debian idea is that the manual must be totally free for anyone to
take and use in any way, yes, then I agree, there is a problem. Other than
that, I really see no problem distributing it with the Bacula source code
and for any company to ¨publish¨ it internally.
> #6 (discrimination against fields of eneavor), since commercial users
> have different requirements
I´m not sure exactly what that means. I´m not discriminating against
anyone. My rules apply to anyone. The idea is just to retain certain
rights as an author.
> As an author myself, I can understand why you went with that license. I
> wonder if you might consider relicensing the documentation. Putting it
> back under the GPL may be a good way to achieve your goals.
I think putting it under GPL would allow anyone to publish it in physical
form without my permission, which is what I would like to avoid (at least
for the moment).
> Alternatively, by a special resolution, Debian has made an exception for
> works under the GNU Free Documentation License. They are considered
> free as long as they don't include any specially-marked (per the
> license) Invariant Sections, Cover Text, Acknowledgements, or
> Dedications (or that permission to remove them is granted). Details can
> be found at http://www.us.debian.org/vote/2006/vote_001 -- scroll down
> to "Amendment Text A", which is what actually passed.
I am on vacation now, so I cannot take a look at this at the moment.
However, from what I remember when I read it some time ago, this only
permits me to ensure that the manual or perhaps the title page is not
changed. I really don´t care if it is changed as long as it doesn´t lead
to confusion about what Bacula is, and providing any commercial release of
the manual is done with a reasonable contribution to the project.
> I would be happy to work with you to help you find a license that
> achieves your goals and is free enough to go into Debian. With your
> permission, I'd CC firstname.lastname@example.org on that discussion, as
> there are many people there with more experience in this area than I.
Yes, I am happy to work with anyone and have no problem with you
forwarding this email. One small point to keep in mind: I am currently on
vacation, and am answering from a cybercafé with a bunch of noisy boys
playing games around me, so I cannot concentrate very well and so what I
wrote above could potentially be clarified or even corrected. :-)
[ snip ]
Thanks, and sorry if my message is a bit fuzzy (young game players) ...
Best regards, Kern
----- End forwarded message -----