FDL requirements for original author
hwe at fsfe.org
Tue Feb 5 10:48:38 UTC 2008
I'm promoting use of the FDL for textbooks and lecture notes at our
university. It critically depends on section 3.
The specific question is: *If I publish my own work
as a PDF under the FDL in the web, do I need to
provide the LaTeX sources?*
Section 3 of the FDL requires publishing a transparent copy if more
than 100 opaque copies are published.
Since PDF is opaque, the background questions are
- Does the FDL apply in full to the original author as well? Ie.,
does the term `copy' in sec 3 denote `piece' (also original) or
`REprocution' (which does not cover the original)?
- IF it applies, how many units are published when I put the file
online? One? As many as downloads? 
- IF more than 100, publishing the pdf without the tex violates the
FDL. Yet, since only the copyright holder could pursue the offence,
and that's me, for all /practical/ matters I'd be fine?
Clearly, I can't recommend to use a license and infringe it: What
license would you recommend for those who like the FDL but are
unwilling to reveal their LaTeX sources?
Thanks for any insights,
 If one publishes as often as there are downloads, the license
would encourage taking content offline as soon as 99 are reached --
hardly the intention of a free license. Also, since this timed taking
offline is a prohibitive effort, the FDL would discourage putting the
document online: It was made for ~20 students, so handing print-outs
would be FDL compliant. I don't believe the FDL wants to provide
incentives to hide the text offline, either.
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