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Re: [XaraXtreme-dev] GPL for designs?

On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 17:56:53 +0100, "Charles Moir" wrote:
> So the question is what would be required in order to be classified as
> free?

The simplest way to start is to ship separate tar files for the
separate pieces (as segregated by license). That is, (once it exists),
a self-contained xaralx tar file containing only GPL source code, then
xaralx-samples (or whatever) under an appropriate license, xaralx-help
under perhaps another, etc.

That way, any organization has a much easier time choosing the pieces
with acceptable license terms.

> And thinking about it, the same point applies to documentation,
> (e.g. help), demo movies as well as the example graphic designs.

One question here is, "Whose definition of 'free' do you want to
meet?". Particularly in the area of documentation, there has been some
friction in the free software community over what license is best for
it. I'll approach "free" as defined by the Debian Free Software
Guidelines, since I like that definition, and that definition has
practical consequences for XaraLX adoption, (such as "can packages be
uploaded to Debian main).

Here are some options, sorted in order of my personal recommendation,
(best option first):

1) Use GPL for documentation

   This is attractive for simplicity's sake, and it allows the
   documentation to be used anywhere the code is used. Something to
   consider is that the line between code and documentation is not
   always sharp.

   For example, a contributor to some under-documented functionality
   might look at the code and want to copy-paste a comment that a
   programmer left there. The other directions is also likely.

   This behavior is obviously legitimate when GPL applies to both
   software and documentation, but can be much trickier to resolve
   given any other scheme.

2) Use GFDL *with no invariant sections*

   The GFDL ( http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html ) was created by
   the Free Software Foundation and has been used for many FSF-created
   works of documentation.

   This license has been the source of a fair amount of contention
   lately, and might be avoided because of that.

   However, Debian recently determined by a project-binding vote
   (http://www.debian.org/vote/2006/vote_001) that the GFDL is a free
   license *if* the licensing does not create any unmodifiable

3) Use an appropriate Creative Commons license (but perhaps nothing exists?)

   I'm hesitant to recommend these as a class, but I do think the
   question here should be informed by the existence of the Creative
   Commons licenses:


   An advantage of the Creative Commons approach is that it's easier
   for an author to select a license that fits his/her desires. A
   disadvantage is that most of the licenses have clauses that make
   them definitely non-free.

   For example, the non-commercial and no-derivatives options are
   obviously non-free according to the Debian Free Software

   As for the other CC licenses, the debian-legal mailing list
   published a statement that considers all of them to be non-free:


   As that page says, it is "not binding" but can "provide some basis
   for the Debian project to make decisions about individual
   packages". I'm not aware that anything like a project-wide vote has
   occurred with respect to CC licenses, (as it did for the GFDL).


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