Gnu-Fdl or CC Attribution-ShareAlike?

J.B. Nicholson-Owens jbn at forestfield.org
Tue Jan 6 17:48:59 EST 2004


Lorenzo De Tomasi wrote:
> Nathanael Nerode writes "Why You Shouldn't Use the GNU FDL" at 
> http://home.twcny.rr.com/nerode/neroden/fdl.html
> Are these problems true?

Yes, there are real problems and copyright holders have hard choices to make
if they distribute free software and documentation under the GNU Free
Documentation License (GFDL).

You should also read
http://people.debian.org/~srivasta/Position_Statement.xhtml which also
discusses this issue.

The last time I looked at the threads on debian-legal discussing this issue,
some people involved with Debian were going to have discussions with some
people in the Free Software Foundation.  I don't know where these talks
stand today.

Prior to publishing version 1.2 (the current version) of the GFDL, the Free
Software Foundation (FSF) collected opinions about the GFDL. They also
published the collected criticisms of the GFDL, but the FSF didn't respond
to people's concerns either by replying directly to them (as far as I know)
or changing the GFDL accordingly (in the bulk of criticisms).  So I don't
know what the FSF's counterarguments were to people's criticisms.

> What's the best choice for a license for software documentation?

I am working on relicensing GFDL works under the same license as the program
it documents.  I license my distributed programs under the GNU General
Public License (GPL) or a GPL-compatible free software license.

Software licenses aren't always a great fit for documentation, but I think
for the most part they are a reasonable position between being technically
obsteperous and being free.



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