Rationale for CC's GFDL recommendation

Daniel Carrera dcarrera at math.umd.edu
Sat Mar 19 20:52:07 EST 2005

Greg London wrote:

> Isn't the only issue around FDL being free the invariant sections?

No, there are others:


> If so, then while the license allows authors to enable certain
> non-free options, the license can be used in a free manner.

Even if that were the case, it would still not be DFSG free. Remember that 
a requirement to be DFSG free is that the Debian leagal declare it free. 
The DFSG are just that, guidelines. An attempt to codify "the Debian way". 
But they are not binding. What is binding is the word of Debian-legal.

> If every contributer is attributed equally, then the people who
> contributed thousands of words may be upset that people who
> contributed 10 words are on equal footing with their name.

No license is perfect. What you say is a real issue, but ultimately lesser 
than the issues with every other alternative currently in existence.

> "Oh, yes, I contributed to the OO documentation project,
> see my name is right there on the website."

This can already happen anyways.


In the particular instance you mention, if someone makes a trivial 
non-contribution just for that, and if most of my team decides we don't 
like it, we will simply revert back to the file just before this edit and 
work from there.  :-)

OOoAuthors is very flexible. We have very few rules, which means we can 
decide anything we want, as long as the people doing the work want to go 
for it. This is great, it is a real meritocracy.

> But Attribution on a large gift economy project seems to me
> to be setting yourself up for a huge flame war, dissention,
> and bad mojo at some point in the project's development.

I don't think so. Debian legal doesn't have a problem with attribution. 
And the copyright notice provides attribution *anyways*.

I think it all depends on how you setup a project, and the project's 
"culture". It is the non-official part, the implicit "social contract" 
that determines what works well for a project and what doesn't.

In my case, my team wants something that is simple and won't cause them to 
do a lot of work just to meet the license (like the PDL does). They want 
as many people as possible to use the work. And they don't want to worry 
about the details. They want to just get to work. I have given them a 
license that does what they want.

Daniel Carrera          | I don't want it perfect,
Join OOoAuthors today!  | I want it Tuesday.
http://oooauthors.org   | 

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