# FDL requirements for original author

hwe hwe at fsfe.org
Wed Feb 6 20:42:52 UTC 2008

First, thanks a lot for the constructive information.

Second, to set the record straight: It's not about texts from me
personally, I release the .tex.  I just cut "the professor whom I've
suggested the FDL for lecture notes" to "I", as it's irrelevant for
the answer.  (Now he' and I' are precise.)

> It depends on what is it you like about FDL.

Foremost freedom 0, freedom 1, freedom 2, and freedom 3. Then the
copyleft.  And the clear delineation of modifications.  So I don't
think it's fully fair to say he "does not want his work to be free."

Please keep in mind this is about text.  Contrary to a program, no
information is "hidden" in the source.  Anyone who knows LaTeX can
easily tell the few \section, \emph or \footnote tags -- the only
opaque words.

Even without the mentioned tools to edit pdfs, most of the text can
simply be copied and pasted; only with formulae problems are likely.
Thus it's not so much a matter of freedom, but of convenience.

> No-derives since, hiding the source seems to be directed
> towards that aim
It's not, also freedom 3 should be included.  I fully agree the .tex
/should/ be published, to not complicate derivatives.  (Frankly, I'm
not sure why showing the .tex is an issue.  I guess it's just not
written as nicely as everything else he shows.)

The problem is that the license choice will likely apply to all works
(other than papers to publish), potentially for several professors,
and mostly the source /would/ be available.  That's why I hesitate to
suggest a CC license instead of the FDL.
Any recommendations under this circumstances?

Finally, when GNU PDF [1] is done, will pdf qualify as transparent?

Thanks again for plenty of great input,
hwe

PS: What if a transparent original never existed?  What to suggest to
those who still use MS Office?  (Other than switching.)
(Also, a hand-written manuscript under FDL is not meaningless I guess.)

> disappointed by more non-free-software discussion on FSFE's list
@MJ Ray: I've read your opinion on the FDL, and actually in some
respects I agree.  Yet the FDL is part of the GNU project.  If GNU is
not to be discussed at FSFE, what is?

[1] http://gnupdf.org/