Re: Copyright on list archives

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Tue Aug 26 2003 - 20:21:36 CDT

Edward Cherlin <> wrote:
|GPL, so that users have guaranteed access to source for formatted
|documents. Not just a locked PDF, for example.
|I would say the same for the archive. Ordinary copyright retains
|all rights, and putting something in the public domain
|relinquishes all rights. Copyleft gives up restrictive
|proprietary rights while maintaining rights that benefit users.

I do not object to our documentation being GPL, or better GNU Free
Document License. But there is no danger of "locking" the list archive.

While "the bad guys" could take one of my public domain posts, and
create a derived work in a proprietary format, my original work (which
specifically, was written in plain ASCII) remains in the PD. I can
derive my own work as I wish, as can anyone. GPL is useful for works
that can meaningfully "fork" (into proprietary versions); but that does
not apply meaningfully to the list archive.

That said, I am generally inclined to agree with Doug Jones that PD is
best for documentation. We will not produce our documentation in
read-only formats (but hopefully in APT, which can generate the various
useful formats--see my earlier notes). If some proprietary vendor wants
to include part of our documentation in their (restrictively)
copyrighted works, I really don't care. Whatever they do is not OUR
standards and architecture, just their discussion of it. Again, the
"fork" does us no harm.

Yours, David...

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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:17 2003

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