FDL again, was: My concerns about GPLv3 process

Ben Finney ben at benfinney.id.au
Fri Feb 10 23:32:21 UTC 2006

On 10-Feb-2006, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
>    You're talking about books but the argument was about, say, the
>    the gcc manual.
> A manual is a type of a book.  It makes sense for manuals as well.

Free manuals must not be restricted to only ever be distributed as
books. The recipient should have the freedom to take pieces of the
manual and distribute it in other forms, such as a reference card or

> the GFDL does not cause any problems with mixing code and
> documentation in the same package.

It causes direct problems with taking pieces of the FDL manual and
putting it into GPL code, or vice versa. The result is not
redistributable under either license.

> Because it doesn't make sense to license manuals/documentation under
> the GPL.  Software and manuals are different type of works.

It's prefectly feasible to take code and put it into a manual, or to
take text from a manual and put it into code. I believe it is a
freedom demanded by the four basic freedoms. Licensing the manual
incompatibly with the license of the code prevents this.

 \       "Our products just aren't engineered for security."  -- Brian |
  `\             Valentine, senior vice-president of Microsoft Windows |
_o__)                                                      development |
Ben Finney <ben at benfinney.id.au>
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