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Re: [Nano-devel] updates, and relicensing questions...

From: David Ramsey
Subject: Re: [Nano-devel] updates, and relicensing questions...
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 11:10:49 -0500

On 8/1/07, Jordi Mallach <address@hidden> wrote:


> The unmodifiable bits are still contested by Debian. Relicensing to
> only FDL for now would mean I'd have to drop info docs and manpages
> from the package (or do a fork of the manpages, which would suck).


> IIUC, GNU will focus on a GFDL revision, now that their resources are
> free from the GPLv3 effort, and it seems one of the goals would be to
> make it fit in the DFSG.

That's good to know.

> Relicensing the docs to the GFDL is something GNU has been pursuing
> for some time, but we've never done, probably because of the above
> problem. We could double license the docs GFDL/GPL for now, and when
> the FDL 2.0 comes out, hopefully resolving the problem, relicense
> again to FDL 2.0 only.
> I know GNU people still won't be too happy about a double license, but
> I think it'd be a good compromise.

True.  However, I've looked through the GFDL 1.2, and it seems
horrendously complicated.  Not to mention, the default policy is to
include a copy of the GFDL in info pages.  First, they're hard enough to
modify manually anyway, and, second, putting it in seems as though it'd
be equivalent to adding an unmodifiable section (seeing as changing it
isn't allowed, which is expected for a license text).

There's another possibility, though, at least for the manpages.
According to this link:

manual pages shorter than 300 lines long can also use these terms:

Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification, are
permitted in any medium without royalty provided the copyright notice
and this notice are preserved.

I've checked, and all of nano's manual pages, after being formatted via
groff of course, are shorter than 300 lines.

A few other weird bits: the nano.1 manpage and the nano info page are
both copyrighted by Chris Allegretta (no problem here); the nanorc.5
manpage is copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation (possibly a
problem, given what you've said above), the rnano.1 manpage is
copyrighted by Thijs Kinkhorst (and probably by you, as it was
originally based on your nano-tiny manpage for Debian; I don't know if
this is a problem); and the translations are copyrighted by
Jean-Philippe Guérard (no problem here).  Given this, don't we have to
get ahold of the FSF and Thijs to be able to get the licensing changed
at all?

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