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Re: GFDL (was: Re: [ox-en] [ot:ox-book] Zu Projekt 'ox-book')

Stefan Meretz wrote:
On Saturday 01 February 2003 20:03, Benja Fallenstein wrote:

I think the GFDL would allow the publisher to add
non-removable texts to the book.  Is that correct?

Sure. Everyone may add everything to any Free Stuff. That is the
concept of Free Software.

The point about non-removable text is that you may not remove it-- i.e.
it places a restriction on the ways you may modify software. This is
allowed in some Free Software, but not in strong copylefts like the
GPL-- you could not add code to a program with a "you must not remove
this code in modified versions."

However, if you release the text explicitly with "with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts" - then nobody may change this -- or not?

No, they may. From section 4, "Modifications:"

  You may add a passage of up to five words as a Front-Cover Text, and a
  passage of up to 25 words as a Back-Cover Text, to the end of the list
  of Cover Texts in the Modified Version.  Only one passage of
  Front-Cover Text and one of Back-Cover Text may be added by (or
  through arrangements made by) any one entity.  If the Document already
  includes a cover text for the same cover, previously added by you or
  by arrangement made by the same entity you are acting on behalf of,
  you may not add another; but you may replace the old one, on explicit
  permission from the previous publisher that added the old one.

There is no restriction on this if there wasn't a cover text before. I haven't checked for invariant sections, but I believe strongly that the same pattern holds there.

If I understand correctly, the FSF does not consider texts with invariant sections and/or cover texts non-free-- rather they see them as legitimate tools for gaining recognition for one's work, and they hope that front-/back-cover texts will make publishers more willing to fund and publish Free documentation. They do of course want to give everyone the ability to merge arbitrary FDLed documents-- that alone necessiates the ability to add invariant sections and cover texts to an existing document (the merged document will have both original documents' cover text and invariant sections).

I do see the logic in it; I'm not impressed by them allowing either option in the first place, though.



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