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www.linuxdoc.org: copyright and Manifesto

The web page entitled "Linux Documentation Project Copying License"
at http://www.linuxdoc.org/copyright.html begins with a misleading
and incorrect statement:

"The following copyright license applies to all works by the Linux Documentation Project."

No it doesn't.

The rest of the license text looks like something extracted from Matt Welsh's
"Installation and Getting Started".

I realiase the section entitled "Publishing LDP Manuals" has come from
Michael K Johnson's Manifesto .. the use of the term "Manual" is confusing
because it isn't defined anywhere. A definition is suggested by a couple of
paragraphs but never actually presented anywhere.

The Manifesto I think provides a more clear explanation of where the LDP
license actually sits with respect to the LDP works .. it's a default
license to use if you, as an author, don't know what license to use.

On the Manifesto, I think the section entitled "Documentation Conventions"
contains some misinformation regarding copyright attribution. It suggests:

"The copyright for each manual should be in the name of the head writer or
coordinator for the project..."

I believe this to be fundamentally contrary to notion of copyright, and
certainly to do as it suggests would be a contravention of most licenses
used. A suggested change might read:

        "The copyright for each manual should be in the name(s) of the
        contributing author(s) for the project ..."

Just because someone takes over maintainership of a document I've worked on
is no reason for my name to be removed from the copyright. That would breach
the GPL where it specifically states that all copyright notices are to
be retained.

I believe the intent of the clause in question is embodied by the second
half where it states that the "Linux Documentation Project" should not be
listed as a copyright holder.


terry@albert.animats.net, terry@linux.org.au

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