FDL and online publishing

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Tue Sep 18 17:08:47 UTC 2007

Laurent <moky.math at gmail.com> wrote:
> [...] do I violate my own FDL licence ?

A copyright holder is not bound by their own licence.  As long as you
have no upstream FDL content, you aren't violating the FDL.

> 2. The second user case is much more trollful ... but it is truth. We 
> want to create collaborative physics and mathematics texbooks[2] [...]

FDL is a bit risky for general non-manual educational works anyway
because it can be poison-pilled so easily.  See

In general, you would be better off asking licensing at fsf.org for

Ciaran O'Riordan <ciaran at fsfe.org> wrote:
> While thinking about this question, if anyone has any suggestions for how to
> improve the GFDL, remember that the public consultation for the next version
> is ongoing:

How about improving the consultation to allow public participation?

> Read about it here:
> http://gplv3.fsf.org/doclic-dd1-guide.html
> And submit your comments here:
> http://gplv3.fsf.org/comments/gfdl-draft-1.html

Select "search" from top of page, click "Search", get error message:

404 Not Found
The requested URL /comments/readsay.html was not found on this server.

I've reported this bug so often (most recently [gnu.org #336650]) that
it's no fun any more.  It gets fixed for a while sometimes, then it
regresses again.

If FSF were using free software in the GPLv3 sense - you know, with
installation info - maybe this would have been debugged by now and the
comment system would be a useful tool that was accessible-to-all and
generally useful for online consultations.  Instead, it's still an
"entirely preliminary, undocumented, unsupported release" which
requires an obsolete version of RT.

More generally, from the comment system's README:

  The system is named "stet", after the proofreader's mark meaning
  "let it stand as it is".

Which is appropriate, as most comments which have been reported by
others seem to have been answered with "we'll let it stand as it is".

The best thing which FSF could do with FDL is to release a bugfixed
SFDL as FDLv2 and kill off the invariant sections that way.

MJ Ray http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html tel:+844-4437-237 -
Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
consumer and workers co-operative member http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ -
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