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cc-licenses - Re: Free Documentation License

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Subject: Development of Creative Commons licenses

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  • From: Mike Linksvayer <ml AT>
  • To: Discussion on the Creative Commons license drafts <cc-licenses AT>
  • Subject: Re: Free Documentation License
  • Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2003 13:39:22 -0800

Evan Prodromou wrote:
So, in the FAQ on, and on the "Licenses explained"
page, the GNU Free Documentation License is recommended for software

However, there's no explanation for why this is so. It'd be nice to
have a page saying why the FDL is recommended, and especially why it's
recommended over any of the Creative Commons licenses.

- The GFDL is specifically tailored for software documentation
- It already has a substantial following in that domain
- CC doesn't want to compete with the FSF

AFAIK no other niche open license (non-software) has a similar following or organizational backing.

That said, some may find CC licenses useful for software documentation, particularly less than free-as-in-free-software documentation (e.g., your publisher doesn't want to allow other commercial reproduction).

If you are producing free-as-in-free-software documentation you'd probably want to avoid most CC licenses as they aren't DFSG-free, though I suspect by, sa, and by-sa are very close.

(I'll see about getting some nuanced explanation included in the FAQ.)

Mike Linksvayer

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