FDL requirements for original author

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 11:17:13 UTC 2008

On 05/02/2008, hwe <hwe at fsfe.org> wrote:

> 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)?

The license applies to reusers; the author can release what they like
under GFDL (or any other license), because they are the copyright

In practical use on Wikimedia sites, it's generally been taken to mean
that whatever the reuser receives under GFDL is the transparent copy -
e.g., even if the author made a picture in Inkscape, if he releases a
rendered PNG under GFDL then that's the thing that's released under

I would assume you don't *have* to release the LaTeX sources, any more
than you have to release working drafts or research notes. The
document you release under GFDL is the document you release under

I welcome correction if I'm wrong on this!

- d.

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