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Encyclopedia > GNU Free Documentation License
GNU logo (a stylized gnu)
GNU logo (a stylized gnu)

The GNU Free Documentation License (GNU FDL or simply GFDL) is a copyleft license for free documentation, designed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for the GNU project. It is the counterpart to the GNU General Public License that gives readers the same rights to copy, redistribute and modify a work and requires all copies and derivatives to be available under the same license. Copies may also be sold commercially, but if produced in larger quantities (greater than 100) then the original document or source code must be made available to the work's recipient. The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) is a laboratory in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Species Connochaetes gnou Connochaetes taurinus The wildebeest (plural, wildebeest or wildebeests), also called the gnu (pronounced or ), is an antelope of the genus Connochaetes. ... The reversed c in a full circle is the copyleft symbol. ... To licence or grant licence is to give permission. ... The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit corporation founded in October 1985 by Richard Stallman to support the free software movement (free as in freedom), and in particular the GNU project. ... The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa The GNU Project was announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. ... The GNU logo The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely-used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. ...


The GFDL was designed for manuals, textbooks, other reference and instructional materials, and documentation which often accompanies GNU software. However, it can be used for any text-based work, regardless of subject matter. For example, Wikipedia uses the GFDL for all of its text. A user guide, also commonly known as a manual, is a technical communication document intended to give assistance to people using a particular system. ... Wikipedia (IPA: , or ( ) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. ...

Contents

Timeline

The FDL was released in draft form for feedback in late 1999. After revisions, version 1.1 was issued in March, year 2000, and version 1.2 in November 2002. The current state of the license is version 1.2.


The first discussion draft of the GNU Free Documentation License version 2 was released on September 26, 2006, along with a draft of the new GNU Simpler Free Documentation License. is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... GNU logo (similar in appearance to a gnu) The GNU Simpler Free Documentation License (GSFDL) is a proposed version of the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) that has no requirements to maintain Cover Texts and Invariant Sections. ...


The new draft of the GNU FDL includes a number of improvements, such as new terms crafted during the GPLv3 process to improve internationalization, clarifications to help people applying the license to audio and video, and relaxed requirements for using an excerpt from a work.


The new proposed GNU Simpler Free Documentation License has no requirements to maintain Cover Texts and Invariant Sections. This will provide a simpler licensing option for authors who do not wish to use these features in the GNU FDL.


Secondary sections

The license explicitly separates any kind of "Document" from "Secondary Sections", which may not be integrated with the Document, but exist as front-matter materials or appendices. Secondary sections can contain information regarding the author's or publisher's relationship to the subject matter, but not any subject matter itself. While the Document itself is wholly editable, and is essentially covered by a license equivalent to (but mutually incompatible with) the GNU General Public License, some of the secondary sections have various restrictions designed primarily to deal with proper attribution to previous authors. The GNU logo The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a widely-used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project. ...


Specifically, the authors of prior versions have to be acknowledged and certain "invariant sections" specified by the original author and dealing with his or her relationship to the subject matter may not be changed. If the material is modified, its title has to be changed (unless the prior authors give permission to retain the title). The license also has provisions for the handling of front-cover and back-cover texts of books, as well as for "History", "Acknowledgements", "Dedications" and "Endorsements" sections.


Commercial redistribution

The GFDL requires the ability to "copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially" and therefore is incompatible with material that excludes commercial re-use. Material that restricts commercial re-use is incompatible with the license and cannot be incorporated into the work. However, incorporating such restricted material may be fair use under United States copyright law and does not need to be licensed to fall within the GFDL if such fair use is covered by all potential subsequent uses. One example of such liberal and commercial fair use is parody. For fair use in trademark law, see Fair use (US trademark law). ... In contemporary usage, a parody (or lampoon) is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on, or poke some affectionate fun at the work itself, the subject of the work, the author or fictional voice of the parody, or another subject. ...


Enforcement

Wikipedia, the best known user of the GFDL, has never taken anyone to court to enforce its license.[1] A Dutch court has enforced a similar license - CC-BY-NC-SA - against a commercial magazine which reprinted photos that had been uploaded to Flickr.[2]


Criticism of the GFDL

The Debian project and Nathanael Nerode have raised objections.[3] Debian developers eventually voted to consider works licensed under the GFDL to comply with their Debian Free Software Guidelines provided the invariant section clauses are not used.[4] These critics recommend the use of alternative licenses such as the share-alike Creative Commons licenses, the BSD Documentation License, or even the GNU GPL. They consider the GFDL a non-free license. The reasons for this are that the GFDL allows "invariant" text which cannot be modified or removed, and that its prohibition against digital rights management (DRM) systems applies to valid usages, like for "private copies made and not distributed".[5] Debian is a free operating system. ... The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) are a set of guidelines that the Debian Project uses to determine whether a software license is free software license, which in turn is used to determine whether a piece of software can be included in the main, free software distribution of Debian. ... A share-alike copyright license clause requires that any improved version of the work be shared on like terms with everyone else—that is, share and share alike. ... Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001. ... The FreeBSD Documentation License is the license that covers the documentation for the FreeBSD operating system. ... Digital rights management (DRM) is an umbrella term that refers to access control technologies used by publishers and other copyright holders to limit usage of digital media or devices. ...


Overly broad DRM clause

The GNU FDL contains the statement:

You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies you make or distribute.

A criticism of this language is that it is too broad, because it applies to private copies made but not distributed. This means that a licensee is not allowed to save document copies "made" in a proprietary file format or using encryption.


In 2003, Richard Stallman said about the above sentence on the debian-legal mailing list:[6] Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms,[1] is a software freedom activist, hacker,[2] and software developer. ...

This means that you cannot publish them under DRM systems to restrict the possessors of the copies. It isn't supposed to refer to use of encryption or file access control on your own copy. I will talk with our lawyer and see if that sentence needs to be clarified.

Invariant sections

A GNU FDL work can quickly be encumbered because a new, different, title must be given and a list of previous titles must be kept. This could lead to the situation where there are a whole series of title pages, and dedications, in each and every copy of the book if it has a long lineage. These pages cannot ever be removed, at least not until the work enters the public domain after copyright expires. The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... Not to be confused with copywriting. ...


Richard Stallman said about invariant sections on the debian-legal mailing list:[7] Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms,[1] is a software freedom activist, hacker,[2] and software developer. ...

The goal of invariant sections, ever since the 80s when we first made the GNU Manifesto an invariant section in the Emacs Manual, was to make sure they could not be removed. Specifically, to make sure that distributors of Emacs that also distribute non-free software could not remove the statements of our philosophy, which they might think of doing because those statements criticize their actions.

GPL incompatible in both directions

The GNU FDL is incompatible in both directions with the GPL: that is GNU FDL material cannot be put into GPL code and GPL code cannot be put into a GNU FDL manual. Because of this, code samples are often dual-licensed so that they may appear in documentation and can be incorporated into a free software program. This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ...


At the June 22nd and 23rd 2006 international GPLv3 conference in Barcelona, Moglen hinted that a future version of the GPL could be made suitable for documentation:[8]

By expressing LGPL as just an additional permission on top of GPL we simplify our licensing landscape drastically. It's like for physics getting rid of a force, right? We just unified electro-weak, ok? The grand unified field theory still escapes us until the document licences too are just additional permissions on top of GPL. I don't know how we'll ever get there, that's gravity, it's really hard. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that Grand unification theory be merged into this article or section. ...

Burdens when printing

The GNU FDL requires that licensees, when printing a document covered by the license, must also include "this License, the copyright notices, and the license notice saying this License applies to the Document". This means that if a licensee prints out a copy of an article whose text is covered under the GNU FDL, he or she must also include a copyright notice and a physical printout of the GNU FDL, which is a significantly large document in itself.


Transparent formats

The definition of a "transparent" format is complicated, and may be difficult to apply. For example, drawings are required to be in a format that allows them to be revised straightforwardly with "some widely available drawing editor." The definition of "widely available" may be difficult to interpret, and may change over time, since, e.g., the open-source Inkscape editor is rapidly maturing, but has not yet reached version 1.0. This section, which was rewritten somewhat between versions 1.1 and 1.2 of the license, uses the terms "widely available" and "proprietary" inconsistently and without defining them. According to a strict interpretation of the license, the references to "generic text editors" could be interpreted as ruling out any non-human-readable format even if used by an open-source word-processor; according to a loose interpretation, however, Microsoft Word .doc format could qualify as transparent, since a subset of .doc files can be edited perfectly using OpenOffice.org, and the format therefore is not one "that can be read and edited only by proprietary word processors." Inkscape is a vector graphics editor application. ... Microsoft Word is a word processing application from Microsoft. ... OpenOffice. ...


Other free content licenses

Some of these were developed independently of the GNU FDL, while others were developed in response to perceived flaws in the GNU FDL.

The FreeBSD Documentation License is listed below. ... Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001. ... Design Science License (DSL) is a copyleft license for free content such as text, images, and music. ... The Free Art License is an attempt to craft a Free license in the spirit of the GNU General Public License adapted for work of art. ... The Open Content License (OPL) is a license designed for distribution of open content material. ... Open Publication License is a license used for creating free and open publications created by the Open Content Project. ... The Open Gaming License (also Open Game License or OGL) is an open content license designed for role-playing games. ...

List of projects that use GFDL

See also: Wikipedia:GNU Free Documentation License resources.

Wikipedia (IPA: , or ( ) is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. ... PlanetMath is a free, collaborative, online mathematics encyclopedia. ... The WebMuseum, formerly known as the WebLouvre, was founded by Nicolas Pioch in France in 1994, while still a student. ... Citizendium (sit-ih-ZEN-dee-um, a citizens compendium of everything) is an English-language online wiki-based free encyclopedia project spearheaded by Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia. ... An Anarchist FAQ is an FAQ written by an international work group of anarchists (mostly [citation needed] social anarchists) connected through the internet. ... The Marxists Internet Archive (also known as MIA or Marxists. ... SourceWatchs logo features a magnifying glass through which its name can be seen. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Last. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

See also

Free software Portal

Image File history File links Free_Software_Portal_Logo. ... The BSD license is a permissive license and is one of the most widely used free software licenses. ... Not to be confused with copywriting. ... The reversed c in a full circle is the copyleft symbol. ... Free software is software which grants recipients the freedom to modify and redistribute the software. ... GNU (pronounced ) is a computer operating system composed entirely of free software. ... Open content, coined by analogy with open source, (though technically it is actually share-alike) describes any kind of creative work including articles, pictures, audio, and video that is published in a format that explicitly allows the copying of the information. ... A share-alike copyright license clause requires that any improved version of the work be shared on like terms with everyone else—that is, share and share alike. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Software license. ... The term non-commercial educational (NCE) applies to a radio station that does not accept or air advertisements, as defined in the U.S. by the FCC. NCE stations do not pay licensing fees for their non-profit use of the radio spectrum. ...

References

  1. ^ Baidu May Be Worst Wikipedia Copyright Violator, PC World, 2007-08-06, accessed on 2007-09-10
  2. ^ Creative Commons License Upheld by Dutch Court, Groklaw, 2006-03-16, accessed on 2007-09-10
  3. ^ Draft Debian Position Statement about the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Accessed on 2007-09-25.
  4. ^ General Resolution: Why the GNU Free Documentation License is not suitable for Debian. debian.org. Accessed on 2007-09-25.
  5. ^ Why You Shouldn't Use the GNU FDL. (2003-09-24), twcny.rr.com. Accessed on 2007-09-25.
  6. ^ Richard Stallman (2003-09-06), Re: A possible GFDL compromise. Accessed on 2007-09-25.
  7. ^ Richard Stallman, (2003-08-23), Re: A possible GFDL compromise. Accessed on 2007-09-25.
  8. ^ Transcript of Eben Moglen at the 3nd international GPLv3 conference; 22nd June 2006: LGPL, like merging electronic weak. Accessed on 2007-09-25.

PC World may refer to one of two topics: The American computer magazine The British computer store chain This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 218th day of the year (219th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... March 16 is the 75th day of the year (76th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Listen to the GFDL Image File history File links GFDL_(English). ...


Audio recording of the full text of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Problems listening to the file? See media help.


  Results from FactBites:
 
GNU Free Documentation License - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1257 words)
It is the counterpart to the GNU GPL that gives readers the same rights to copy, redistribute and modify a work and requires all copies and derivatives to be available under the same license.
While the Document itself is wholly editable, and is essentially covered by a license equivalent to (but both-ways incompatible with) the GNU General Public License, some of the secondary sections have various restrictions designed primarily to deal with proper attribution to previous authors.
The project eventually voted [1] to consider works licensed under the GFDL to be free provided the invariant section clauses are not used.
Wikipedia:GNU Free Documentation License - Wikipedia (2704 words)
GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2, November 2002 Copyright (C) 2000,2001,2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
PREAMBLE The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document "free" in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the effective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially.
This License is a kind of "copyleft", which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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