FDL requirements for original author

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 11:31:36 UTC 2008

On 05/02/2008, Alex Hudson <home at alexhudson.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-02-05 at 11:17 +0000, David Gerard wrote:

> > 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
> > GFDL.

> The question of transparency is more objective than that; the file
> format has to be readily amenable to editing. E.g., a PNG with a lot of
> text is not transparent, even if that's what the author released.
> If the original release from the author is not transparent, I think
> subsequent distributors could fall foul of the opaqueness rules, and
> would be unable to distribute according to the license. I wouldn't see
> that as being any different to releasing a binary under the GPL; just
> because that's what was released doesn't make it "the source" (the
> requirements in the two cases are very different, though, so maybe not
> directly comparable).

Who could they fall foul of? Remember that the risk model is: "if I
use this in a manner outside of 'all rights reserved,' will keeping to
the terms of the licence be a sufficiently strong defence?"

If the author released a PNG with text on it and then sues me for
making a copy available under GFDL - or even a modified copy under
GFDL - I find it hard to imagine a judge doing other than telling the
original author not to be silly.

- d.

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