Re: GFDL and cover texts
"Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
[🔎] email@example.com">news:[🔎] firstname.lastname@example.org...
On 07/08/07, Joerg Jaspert <email@example.com> wrote:
On 11104 March 1977, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:
: Why are three words enough to make thousands upon thousands
> of words nonfree?
Because it is non-free.
Compare with a source tarball, where one could say "But this is just one
twenty-line file which is non-free, and the other 500000 lines are
free. Why is this enough to make the rest non-free?". That just doesn't
But we can't modify the COPYING file in a source tarball, and that's
ok. Why isn't a cover text like "a GNU manual" also acceptable?
- Jordi G. H.
It really is not as much the non-modifiable nature of cover texts, as the
fact that they are mandatory to include.
Lets say somebody was writting a manual for a utility that is similar to the
GNU utilitiy in some respects. The person's utility is not a GNU utility. It
would be very useful if the person could reuse some parts of the GFDL'd
manual that still apply (perhaps a section explaining Regular expressions
(for example)). If he did so though, he would need to keep the "a GNU
manual" cover text on his manual, which is hardly a GNU manual, condisering
that it was not written for or as part of the GNU project, nor is it about a
Further one could very easilly see a problem occuring if one borrows text
from a bunch of manuals all having different covet texts. There would be
quite a few required cover texts in that case, many of which really make no
sense for the end result.