Changing OPL-options allowed?

Alexandre Dulaunoy alex at
Fri Jul 26 06:29:38 UTC 2002

For your information :

Open Publication License, Version 1.0. 
    This license can be used as a free documentation license. It is a 
copyleft free documentation license provided the copyright holder does not 
exercise any of the "LICENSE OPTIONS" listed in Section VI of the license. 
But if either of the options is invoked, the license becomes non-free.

    This creates a practical pitfall in using or recommending this 
license: if you recommend ``Use the Open Publication License, Version 1.0 
but don't enable the options'', it would be easy for the second half of 
that recommendation to get forgotten; someone might use the license with 
the options, making a manual non-free, and yet think he is following your 

    Likewise, if you use this license without either of the options to 
make your manual free, someone else might decide to imitate you, then 
change his mind about the options thinking that that is just a detail; the 
result would be that his manual is non-free.

    Thus, while manuals published under this license do qualify as free 
documentation if neither license option was used, it is better to use the 
GNU Free Documentation License and avoid the risk of leading someone else 

    Please note that this license is not the same as the Open Content 
These two licenses are frequently confused, as the Open Content License is 
often referred to as the "OPL". For clarity, it is better not to use the 
abbreviation ``OPL'' for either license. It is worth spelling their names 
in full to make sure people understand what you say. 

On 24 Jul 2002, Wouter Vanden Hove wrote:

> Hi, 
> During my ongoing search of free licenses in all kinds of documentation,
> I've come across a PostNuke Guide at
> On the first page is stated:
> ------------------------------------
> The Official PostNuke Installation and Getting started Guide was written
> by Drew Vogel. Copyright 2002 by Drzew Vogel. All rights reserved.
> You may not distribute, modify, or translate this Guide without prior
> consent of Drew Vogel (drew at The only approved use is
> review,comment, and personal use.
> This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and
> conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, Draf v.1.0, 5 Juni
> 1999 or later (the latest version is available at
> ).
> Distribution and/or sale of substantively modified versions of this
> document is prohibited without the explicit permission of the copyright
> holder.
> Distribution and/or sale of the work or derivative of the work in any
> standard (paper) book form or printed form is prohibited unless prior
> permission is obtained from the copyright holder."
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Appearantly, this guide is dual licensed with a traditional license and
> the OPL with options A and B. So the first statements do not contradict
> the terms of the OPL with options. Correct?
> But when you compare these options with options A and B of the OPL, you
> see that they are changed:
> "Distribution" ---> "Distribution AND/OR SALE"   (2X)
> "any standard (paper) book form"  ---> 
>                   "any standard (paper) book form OR PRINTED FORM"
> Are such changes allowed? 
> Of course, a copyright holder chooses whatever he wishes, but if he
> chooses OPL+options, can he then change the options to more restrictive
> ones?
> Wouter Vanden Hove
> _______________________________________________
> Discussion mailing list
> Discussion at

More information about the Discussion mailing list