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Re: [off topic] Re: Licensing issues (continued)
- Subject: Re: [off topic] Re: Licensing issues (continued)
- From: (David Lawyer)
- Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 11:54:08 -0700
- Resent-Cc: recipient list not shown: ;
- Resent-Date: 24 Sep 1999 18:54:22 -0000
- Resent-Message-ID: <3lKiRB.A.cpD.dj863@murphy>
I would like to propose a "Free Documentation Definition" (FDD).
After it's adopted by us, new docs for LDP would need to conform to
it. Also, if the government were to give awards for good docs they
would need to have licenses that conform to FDD.
The definition should be such that all FDD documents are inter-operable
in the sense that you may extract parts from FDD docs and put them
into other FDD docs. Note that a present, I don't think any existing
licenses conform to what I think the FDD should be. But DGPL might if
Here's what I think a Free Document is:
1. Anyone who has a copy may freely copy it (in any medium) and give
away (or sell) the copies.
2. The entire document source must be freely available in a format which can
be readily processed with free software.
3. Ultimately, anyone may extract parts of it (possibly modify such parts)
and put them into another (or a new) FDD doc.
4. There may be some rules regarding modification to prevent unnecessary
forks in the document. You may be only allowed to modify a doc if
there are good reasons for doing so such as:
a. The maintainer has refused to incorporate your suggestions.
b. The maintainer can't be located or is non-responsive.
c. You've modified the software to which the document pertains and
modifications are needed immediately to explain the modified
5. A FDD license could only have a certain allowed set of restrictions
in it (some have been mentioned above). Other restrictions/provisions
(such as a termination clause) would not be allowed.
Thus the FDD would list things the the license must allow (e.g. free
copying). It would list optional restrictions/permissions. Any
other provisions (restricitons/permissions) could not be in the
The word "restriction" can have double meaning since what is
restrictive to the distributor may be less restrictive to the consumer
and conversely. For example, public domain doc does not restrict the
modification of it nor the copyrighting of such a modification. But
it's restrictive on public access to the copyrighted modified doc
since the public may not be able to freely get the modified doc due
Note that the above outline is *not* a draft of a proposed Free
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