citating FDL texts

Axel Schulz axel at
Sun Feb 15 00:34:13 UTC 2004

Hi @all!

"[M]ust his thesis in which my FDL licensed text is used also be licensed under the FDL?"

I hope not, because that would first of all contradict the whole idea of scientific work. Of course, he/she may not just COPY your paper and distribute under another condition (price!). 
He/she is not allowed to do this. The reason is first of all a scientific one: he os not allowed to "sell" your ideas as it would be his/her own.

Further more I cannot see any violations of the FDL since your work remains as it is. On the other hand he/she has to make significantly changes/additions which create a new work. This work is his/her own. It is up to him/her under which license he is going to publish it.

I found in the preamble of the license these two remarks:
-  freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or non-commercially
- this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modifications made by others

You may also have a look at paragraph 7: AGGREGATION WITH INDEPENDENT WORKS

I think the crystal clear conclusion we can draw from this is that he does not need to publish HIS/HER work under the same license. I do not know exactly what the purpose of the FDL was/is but it would be paradoxical to require the same license if parts of a "free work" where quoted in an other work. That would contradict all scientific standards. 

I hope I am right with my statement.


Stephan Uhlmann <su at> schrieb am 14.02.04 17:58:09:
> Hash: SHA1
> Hello,
> I have written a text and published it under the GNU FDL. Now I was asked by 
> somebody if he can use parts of that text for his diploma thesis and if that 
> means that it also must be licensed under the FDL.
> German "Urheberrecht" allows citations, in scientific works even in larger 
> portions (
> My question now is, do the rules for derivative works nevertheless apply?
> i.e. must his thesis in which my FDL licensed text is used also be licensed 
> under the FDL?
> Thank you for any hints,
> Stephan
> Version: GnuPG v1.2.2 (GNU/Linux)
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> 6+PBMWOmluyXmx73awzGSAY=
> =pgiH
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