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Subject: Documentation license issues

Documentation license issues

From: Jonas H <rasher_at_rasher.dk>
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2006 15:47:10 +0200

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The Rockbox documentation contains of three parts:
1. The wiki and contents
2. The manual
3. The source and docs/ directory

#3 has no problems as it is clearly GPL.

#1 Is currently in a legal limbo. It is (afaiu) owned by the authors and
used under the assumption that it's under an implicit license that
allows us to publish and change it (since that's what the wiki does).

This has a couple of problems:
a) Uncertainty is never good when it comes to legal matters.
b) We cannot directly use the text from the wiki to write the manual.
c) Others (other projects, etc.) can not use the text from the wiki.

#2 is available under a well-defined license, namely the GFDL. The
problem here is that the GFDL might not be the best choice. Invariant
sections might cause a host of problems with text reuse. Granted, the
manual has no invariant sections but if someone were to create his own
version with an invariant section, we'd be unable to use any improvements.

See also
http://people.debian.org/~srivasta/Position_Statement.xhtml#problems for
some more problems.

As suggested by Galois in #rockbox
(http://www.rockbox.org/irc/rockbox-20060718.txt starting 20:40 with a
wrongly worded statement by me), I too think that switching both the
wiki and the manual to the Creative Commons share-alike by-attribution
license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/) would be a good
idea. It seems to me to be more in line with the goals of the GPL than
the GFDL does.

For the wiki, this can only happen if we get everyone to agree to
relicense their work under CC-by-sa or remove their contribution to the
wiki - which would be no small task. Someone with server access might be
able to shed some light on the feasibility of this (amount of
contributors, amount of significant contributors etc.).

For the manual, this should be slightly easier as the number of
contributors are considerably smaller, but the same needs to happen.

So the question is, do we want to go through this trouble or not?

For me, the main problems are the grey area of the wiki and the
inability to move text from the manual to the wiki without the author's
consent.

Thoughts, suggestions, flames?

- --
Jonas H
rasher(at)rasher(dot)dk
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Received on 2006-07-22


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