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Re: Critique of draft GNU Free Documentation License v1.0
On Wed, Jan 12, 2000 at 12:15:40PM +0000, Kim Lester wrote:
> This is outside my domain and perhaps I should just keep quiet but...
> With specific regards to the proposed clauses for derivation of
> works I have these comments:
> Placing the burden of contact on someone trying to derive a work
> from a "free" published text makes it just too hard. People
> change email addresses/move states/countries etc. Some don't have
> access to email. This rule hobbles those who might most benefit
> from using the documents. Impractical clauses are worse than
> no clauses.
Here is what it now says in our "Boilerplate License":
Except for translations, send a copy to the previous
maintainer's url as shown in the latest version.
This is not much of a burden. If the email is wrong, you've still
complied with the requirement. If there is no url for the maintainer
(unlikely) you have nothing to do.
Even though it's not much of a burden there are reasoned arguments
both for and against it. Although I originally supported it I'm now
neutral on it for this short license.
For a longer license, I still think it's a good idea. Such a license
would exempt from this requirement any modification made for internal
use within an organization. It might also try to avoid the following
loophole: Suppose A is the author and B and C want to modify A's work
but conceal what they have done. So B modifies A's work just a little
and sends a copy of it to A. B then becomes the maintainer of this
modified work. Then C takes it from B and makes major modifications
that C and B don't want A to know about. C only needs to notify B. A
similar case would be where B and C are not in cahoots with each other
and major changes are made that A doesn't find out about.
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