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Re: [off topic] Re: Licensing issues

On Tue, Sep 21, 1999 at 11:10:08AM -0400, Gary Lawrence Murphy wrote:

> Not quite. It was a move to less freedom to accomodate exclusivity.

It was a move to more freedom, the only change was that it allowed a use
that wasn't allowed before. I don't see how any reasonable description of
freedom, or more or less suggests that is a restriction of freedom.

> then-GPL'd libc in their own non-free projects.  It is less freedom
> because the GPL was intended to make all derived works also bend to
> the GPL (which is another case where the GPL will not work for LDP
> docs) and had to give up this "freedom requirement" to accomodate
> commercial acceptance.

The GPL will and does work for documents in exactly the same way. If you
want to take portions of any of my documents and combine them with portions
of other documents the other documents have to have licenses that are
GPL compatible. I'll agree there is some murkiness when it comes to defining
what constitutes a 'linkage' of documents, but I don't believe it's any more
complicated an issue than with software.

> But only the restriction on book-publishing, while opening up the free
> distribution of all material for all other avenues.

They're already open. There is no gain there.

> Someone alluded to a publisher who is donating their stuff into the
> LDP without restrictions.  I'm curious because the only publishers I
> know who go anywhere near that are ORA and Coriolis, and the former
> has not donated any complete documents (that I know of), and the
> latter is only donating bare essentials, keeping the good stuff for
> their 'annotations'.

The donating whole works thing is a whole different subject. If a publisher,
as copyright holder of a work, wants to provide their work to the LDP with
a license that allows free online publishing but restricted paper publishing
then that is entirely their perogative. I would welcome that, but I would
oppose any move to attempt to make any other LDP documents conform to that
style of license.

When it comes down to it, the copyright holder can do as they please with
their document.

The LDP has to make a decision as to what constitutes an acceptable document
for inclusion within its charter.

I think all you're really trying to say is that you believe the LDP should
leave enough flexibility in its minimum licensing standards to accomodate
the model you describe.

Let me ask you a question. It's fairly obvious what the advantages are to the
publisher in having a document branded an official LDP work and having
exclusive publishing rights, but what's in it for the LDP or the greater
Linux community to have a document branded an official LDP document but with
restrictions placed on its publishing in physical form?

  The ability to read the document online but not to be able to print it?

It seems like a fairly one-sided arrangement to me.


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

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