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Re: License of wget.texi: suggest removal of invariant sections

Hrvoje Niksic wrote:
> Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> writes:
>> On Thu, 18 May 2006, Hrvoje Niksic wrote:
>>> Including the text of the GPL in Wget's manual serves the purpose
>>> of explaining Wget's copying terms to the user. As such, it seems
>>> pertinent regardless of whether Wget is actually distributed along
>>> with the manual.
>> To reiterate what you said above, our problem is that the GPL can't be
>> removed at all,[1] even when it's no longer applicable, not that it's
>> being included by wget.texi in the first place.
> What I don't understand is how the GPL can be "no longer applicable",
> given that it's not possible to change Wget's license.  If the
> copyright holder (in this case the FSF) decided to change the license,
> surely they could also remove the invariant section?

Don't just think in terms of the software the current manual describes
(namely Wget), which of course remains GPLed.  First, you could
distribute the Wget manual without distributing Wget, in which case the
GPL itself no longer obligates you to include it since you don't
distribute GPLed software, but the Wget manual license notice requires
you to continue distributing it.  Second, you might modify the manual to
make a smaller form, such as a manual page, and want to avoid including
more extra text than you need to.  Third, someone might want to adapt
some part of the Wget manual for their own documentation, which might
document an LGPLed library, or a MIT-licensed work, and thus shouldn't
have to include a potentially confusing third license.

- Josh Triplett

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