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Re: License policy proposal

On Sat, Sep 09, 2000 at 12:56:36AM +0200, guylhemlistes@ifrance.com wrote:
>  Project for the new license policy of the LDP :
>  - accept free document (i.e. released under either GFDL or OPL -A 
> -B)

I don't agree with this.  One problem is that neither of these
licenses prohibit advertising.  Some advertising can be obnoxious,
especially if it's flashing or appears when one tries to go to the
next page of the document and instead winds up on a page of
advertising (with a link to get back to the next page of the document
you're reading).  The license needs to not only prohibit advertising
in the document, but needs to also prohibit it being electronically
displayed with advertising.  One might make an exception to
non-obtrusive ads for the free software movement, etc.

The GFDL allows one to lock in advertising in "invariant sections"
that may have to remain there for a hundred years or more.  The GFDL
just has too many other unnecessary requirements that one must do if
one want to modify the document.

Regarding the OPL license, it also has onerous requirements for book
form publication.  It requires the the original publisher's name be
printed on the book cover and be at least as large as the title.  What
if there are 20 HOWTOs in the book.  Are the 20 authors the
publishers, each of their own document?  Or is LDP the publisher?
It's not clear.  But in general I think OPL -A -B is better than GFDL
but I'm opposed to it mainly because it doesn't block advertising.

>  - accept other document with a prominent "non free" tag section 
> if
>    the authors accept an agreement indicating :
>     - they currently allow "non commercial redistribution"

Thus they can prohibit commercial redistribution and then sell rights
to print it to only one firm which then monopolizes the printing of
it.  We've never allowed this before and shouldn't start now.

>     - they do not include any advertisement at all, in any format

This needs to be in the license, otherwise someone can modify the
document by only adding advertising.  Just adding advertising is a
modification isn't it.	

>     - they do not include more that 200 chars. of what could be
>       considered as "self promotion"
> 	* "If you would like me to write something for you I will for a
> 	fee."
> 	-> Ok
> 	* "Come check out our GREAT technical writing capability!!! I'm
> 	the best"
> 	-> NO WAY !!!
>     - they do allow to be re-released under either GFDL or OPL -A -
> B for maintenance/updates/enhancement reasons when the 
> author(s) :
> 	- decides not to update it any longer
> 	- declare the document unmaintained
> 	- can not be reached any longer
> 	- releases a new and updated copy of the document/book
> 	  distributed under a non commercial license

When the authors come out with an update, then may someone else
re-release the documents under GFDL?  Since the authors may make an
update under whatever license they choose there would be no need to
allow the authors themselves to re-release it under GFDL.

> 	If a document goes longer than 12 months without at a            
> minimum maintenance/release, it will be considered unmaintained.
> 	The obvious exception to this, is that if the document covers a
> 	specific software version. For example, many people still run
> 	Postgres 6.4.2, but 6.4.2 is over a year old.

So in conclusion I think we need our own license that would ban
advertising.  Better yet would be to get Richard Stallman to change
his license.
			David Lawyer

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