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Re: Help Selecting License for Bacula Documentation

Kern Sibbald wrote:
>> Benjamin Seidenberg wrote:
>>> Kern Sibbald wrote:
>>>> John Goerzen wrote:
>>>>> 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
>>>>> license arrangements.
>>>>> 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
>>>>> manual.
>>>> Yes, this is correct, but with the nuance, that I would be very happy
>>>> to
>>>> see the manual published in physical form provided there is an
>>>> agreement
>>>> for a reasonable financial contribution to the project, which should
>>>> take
>>>> into account normal royalties and how much work the publisher (or
>>>> whoever
>>>> transforms it) has to do to get it in a publishable form.
>>>> In my other email, I attempt to explain my reasoning behind this.
>>> While this is an understandable viewpoint, and one that I can sympathize
>>> with, any license that would provide protection such as you describe
>>> would most definitely be in violation of the DFSG, and as such, not
>>> distributable by debian, at least in the main section (though possibly
>>> in non-free).
>> On the other hand, note that the GPL requires that distributors notify
>> recipients about the Free Software status of the work, which would allow
>> people to know "hey, I could get this for free online"; this might
>> achieve a similar effect to what you desire.
>> Furthermore, I don't know
>> for sure, but a carefully worded license *might* manage to require a
>> specific notice as to the unofficial, non-endorsed status of the manual,
>> while still remaining DFSG-free.  You could then specifically grant
>> distributors the rights to call themselves an official and/or endorsed
>> manual in exchange for whatever auxiliary licensing terms you want.
> Hmmm. Possibly having an "invariant" section (or whatever it is called)
> stating the unofficial, non-endorsed status of any commercially printed
> version of the manual would do what you suggest.

I didn't mean to suggest an invariant section; DFSG-free works can't
have invariant sections.  I simply meant requiring some form of notice,
much like the GPL requires that you include appropriate copyright and
license notice.

> I'm going to try to come up with some such wording over the next week, but
> if you or someone else could suggest such a "carefully worded license" for
> the Bacula manual that would be acceptable to Debian, it would for me be a
> good solution, and I would very likely accept it -- obviously, I would
> like to see the wording before making a firm commitment ...

How about something vaguely along the lines of this:
"If you publish this work in paper form, you must conspicuously and
appropriately publish on each copy a notice of the unofficial,
non-endorsed status of the work."

Notice the intentional lack of specific wording or placement required
for such a notice.  I modelled this after the GPL's clause 1.

Note, though, that any such clause will likely make your documentation
GPL-incompatible, which will likely cause problems down the road given
that Bacula uses the GPL.  I personally would suggest just using the GPL
on the manual, and relying on the fact that the GPL requires a
conspicuous and appropriate notice as to the GPL status of the work; and
furthermore, that any distributor would need to either include the full
source to the manual or an offer for such.

- Josh Triplett

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