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Re: Licensing of D-W training session tutorials

On Sat, 11 Dec 2010 18:05:28 +0100 Rayna wrote:

> 2010/12/11 Francesco Poli <frx@firenze.linux.it>
> > [snip]
> >
> > However, I don't see any license for those tutorials on the Wiki site.
> > As I am sure you know, no license means "All Rights Reserved" with
> > current copyright laws.
> >
> > This is a shame: a lot of good documentation is being published from
> > the D-W training sessions in a non-free manner!   :-(
> >
> This is a very good question and you reacted faster than me (I was
> proofreading my mail on this topic before sending it :) ).

Hi Rayna,
thanks for agreeing on the goodness of the topic!   ;-)

> > It would be really great if those tutorials were licensed in a clearly
> > DFSG-free manner.
> > I suggest that copyright holders for those tutorials be contacted and
> > asked to license the tutorials under the GNU GPL v2 or otherwise the
> > Expat license (depending on the preferences regarding copyleft...).
> >
> > [Before someone asks, I would definitely avoid the controversial
> > Creative Commons licenses and the horrible GFDL...]
> >
> May you clarify this? AFAIK, only the clauses "nc" and "nd" (as well as
> their joint use) of the CC licenses are considered as non-free.

Well, the FTP masters seem to currently consider CC-by-v3.0 and
CC-by-sa-v3.0 as acceptable licenses for main. No other CC license has
been explicitly considered OK by the FTP masters, AFAICT.

However some people (most notably the undersigned!) disagree with the
FTP masters on this point: I personally think that even CC-by-v3.0 and
CC-by-sa-v3.0 should be considered as *non-free*.

If you want to read the gory details:

Moreover, license proliferation is bad, and should always be fought
(since it tends to balkanize the community with license
incompatibilities and makes everything more complicated and less
clear); the Creative Commons Project seems to have been a license
proliferation festival since its beginning:

> Regarding
> the GFDL, the obligation to include the full text of the license can be
> circumvented by adding the link to it. At least, I've seen it that way on
> some wikis.

The GFDL has many issues:
I acknowledge that the Project later decided to accept GFDL'ed
works, as long as they don't include unmodifiable parts:
But I disagree with this decision both because of the merits of the
decision (the GFDL has other issues, not only the ones related to
unmodifiable material) and because of the method (license analysis is a
"technical" evaluation requiring specific expertize: deciding by
general vote is not meaningful).
I still think that GFDL'ed works are *non-free*.

FLOSS Manuals decided to (almost entirely) switch from the GFDL to the
GPL, for reasons explained here:
This is a case where a web site hosting free manuals "escaped" from the

> The Free Art License (or in French Licence Art Libre) can be a very nice
> option, especially combined to CC-by-SA and GFDL.

The Free Art License seems to be *intended* to be a Free copyleft
one (but incompatible with GPLv2 and GPLv3).
There are some issues though that seem to make it fail.
Not a recommended option, IMHO.

Here you can read my detailed analysis:

> Finally, I am not that familiar with the Expat license, so it would be great
> if you could detail its particularities a bit :)

It is sometimes also called the MIT license.
I prefer to call it the Expat license, since it's a less ambiguous name:

I hope that this clarifies.

 New GnuPG key, see the transition document!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
 GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82  3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE

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