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Re: Boilerplate License Revision Proposal

On July 29, 200, jdd <jdanield@dodin.net> wrote:

> Le ven, 28 jui 2000, Poet/Joshua Drake a écrit :
> > This is not about whether or not we should allow free manuals. That is a
> > no-brainer. It is about the "option" for a potential professional writer
> > to enable the ability to make a living off of the documentation he is
> > creating. The inability to allow a person to make a potential living doing
> > something he loves, writing Linux documentation is a crime all in its own.
> > 
> > Everyone speaks about "freedom". Don't forget that it is impossible to
> > have freedome without the restriction thereof. Without the a basic
> > restriction of freedom you obtain a non definition similar to that of
> > Anarchy.
> > My political diatribe aside. Consider it.
> I think this is quite off-topic. LDP has no monopoly at all and anybody
> can write anything without considering us.
> BUT. I think most HOWTO authors did largely benefit of the others work,
> it's there very difficult to know what is an "original" work, and in
> addition, it's nearly impossible to make money of a small paper
> (eventually, publish it as an article).
> on the other side, there are great drawbacks having to deal with
> restrictive licences.
> I think than this discussion must seem academic to most HOWTO writers who
> don't know at all what kind of licence they may use if any.

Sorry for butting in here, but "academic" and specious are, I think,
exatly the correct descriptions for this whole discussion, which has
occurred in this forum over and over again.

Apologies also for the U.S. centrism, but works that are published
here are implicitly copyrighted.  I'm not sure what the laws are in
other countries.  That is, works written in the U.S. (whatever that
means) do not need to contain an explicit copyright notice in order to
receive the protections of the relevant laws.  An author has to
explicitly relax the copyright restrictions, by including in the
document, license terms of his/her own choosing, like the ones used by
LDP authors.

Considering that there now seem to be about an equal number of
commercial and non-commercial Linux manuals available, both by LDP and
non-LDP authors, and that (corect me if I'm wrong here) posting a
document on the Web has the same legal force as a hard-copy,
commercial publication, it seems to me 1completely irrelevant,
presumptuous, unethical, and perhaps even illegal, that a
non-publishing trade group should specify or even recommend the
license terms that a document should carry.

Apologies for the hyperbole and long-windedness of this, but I think
that this sort of rhetoric, by non-interested parties, is damaging to
the optimum dissemination of information, not to mention extremely


Robert Kiesling
Linux FAQ Maintainer

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