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From: Richard Stallman <>
Subject: New Documentation License--Comments Requested
Date: 1999/09/12
Message-ID: <>
X-Deja-AN: 524660334
Distribution: world
Organization: Massachvsetts Institvte of Technology
Followup-To: gnu.misc.discuss
Newsgroups: gnu.announce,comp.os.linux.misc,gnu.misc.discuss

I am working on a new license to use for GNU documentation.  Here is a
draft of it.  Please don't use it yet; I have not finished checking
it.  But please do give me constructive comments for improving the
details of it.  I can make use of them to improve version 1.0.

		GNU Free Documentation License Version 0.9


The GNU Free Documentation License is a form of copyleft designed for
books, such as reference manuals and tutorials.  We designed it in
order to use it for documentation about free software, but it can be
used regardless of the subject matter.  It can also apply to textual
works that are not released in book form.  It gives users the right to
copy, redistribute and modify the work, just as users have the right
to copy, redistribute and modify free software.


This License applies to any manual or other work which contains a
notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be distributed
under the terms of this License.  The "Manual", below, refers to any
such manual or work.  Any member of the public is a licensee, and is
addressed as "you".

A "Modified Version" of the Manual means any work containing the
Manual or a portion of it, either copied verbatim or with
modifications and/or translated into another language.

The "Invariant Sections" are certain appendices or front-matter
sections of the Manual, which deal exclusively with nontechnical
matters (such as the political views, histories or legal positions of
the authors), and whose titles are listed as Invariant Sections in
the notice saying that the Manual is released under this license.

The "Front-Cover Texts" are certain short passages of text are listed as
Front-Cover Texts or Back-Cover Texts in the notice saying that the
Manual is released under this license.

A "Transparent" copy of the Manual means a machine-readable copy,
represented in a format whose specification is available to the
general public, in which the text may be viewed straightforwardly with
ordinary text editors, and which is suitable for input to text
formatters or for automatic translation to a variety of formats
suitable for input to text formatters.  Examples of suitable formats
for transparent copies include Texinfo input format, LaTeX input
format, SGML, and standard-conforming HTML.  A copy that is not
"Transparent" is called "Opaque".

The "Title Page" means, for a printed book, the title page; for works
in other formats where there is no title page as such, it means the
text near the most prominent mention of the work's title, preceding
the beginning of the body of the text.


You may copy and distribute the Manual, in any medium, either
commercially or noncommercially, provided that this license is
reproduced in all copies, and you add no other conditions whatsoever
to those of this license.  You may accept compensation in exchange for
copies, but you may not technically obstruct the reading or further
copying of the copies you make or distribute.

You may also lend copies, under the same conditions stated above, and
you may publicly display copies.

It is requested, but not required, that you give the authors of the
Manual thirty days (or more) advance notice of your plans to
redistribute any large number of copies, to give them a chance to
provide you with an updated version of the Manual.


If you publish or distribute printed copies of the Manual numbering
more than 100, and the Manual's license notice requires Cover Texts,
you must enclose the copies in covers that carry, clearly and legibly,
all these Cover Texts: Front-Cover Texts on the front cover, and
Back-Cover Texts on the back cover.  If the required texts for either
cover are too voluminous to fit legibly, put the first ones listed (as
many as fit reasonably) on the actual cover, and continue the rest
onto adjacent pages.

If you publish or distribute Opaque copies of the Manual numbering
more than 100, you must state in or with each copy a publicly
accessible computer network location containing a Transparent copy of
the Manual, no more and no less, which the general network-using
public has access to download at no charge.  You must take reasonably
prudent steps, when you begin distribution of Opaque copies in
quantity, to ensure that this Transparent copy will remain thus
accessible at the stated location until at least six months after you
last distribute an Opaque copy.


You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Manual under the
conditions of section 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the
Modified Version under precisely this license, with the Modified
Version filling the role of the Manual, thus licensing use of the
Modified Version to whoever possesses a copy of it.  In addition, you
must do these things in the Modified Version:

A. Mention the Manual's title on the Title Page.
B. Add something to the title, or a subtitle, stating that the version has
   been modified, and distinguishing it from the Manual you started with.
C. Mention on the Title Page at least one name of a person or entity
   responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified
   Version and/or publication of the Modified version, and describe
   that entity's relationship to the Modified Version.
D. Retain on the Title Page or its continuation the authors' and publishers'
   names listed on the Manual's Title Page.
E. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Manual.
F. Add an appropriate copyright notice for your own work.
G. Include after them a notice stating giving the public permission to
   use the Modified Version under the terms of this license,
   in the form shown in the Addendum below.
H. Preserve in that notice the full list of Invariant Sections,
   and the full list of required Cover Texts, given in Manual's notice.
I. Include an unaltered copy of this license.
J. Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Manual for
   public access to a Transparent copy of the Manual, and likewise
   those network locations given in the Manual for any earlier
   versions it was based on.
K. If the Manual has an Acknowledgements and/or Dedications section,
   preserve therein all the substance of each of the contributor
   acknowledgements and/or dedications stated therein.
L. Preserve all the Invariant Sections of the Manual,
   unaltered in text and in their titles.

If the Modified Version includes new front-matter sections (or
appendices) which deal exclusively with nontechnical matters, and
contain no material copied from the Manual, you may at your option add
the section titles of any or all of these sections to the list of
Invariant Sections in the Modified Version.

You may add up to five words of Front-Cover Text and up to 25 words of
Back-Cover Text to the end of the list of Cover Texts in the Modified

The author(s) and publisher(s) of the Manual do not by this license
give permission to use their names for publicity or to assert or imply
endorsement of any Modified Version.


You may combine the Manual with other manuals released under this
license, under the terms of section 3 above as for modified versions,
provided that you include all of the Invariant Sections of all of
the original manuals, unmodified, in the combination, and list them
all as Invariant Sections in your combined work.

The combined work need only contain one copy of this license, and
multiple identical Invariant Sections may be replaced with a single
copy.  If there are multiple Invariant Sections with the same name but
different contents, make the title of each such section unique by
adding at the end, in parentheses, the name of the original author or
publisher of that section if known, otherwise the name of an author or
publisher of the manual that section came from; and make the same
adjustment in the list of Invariant Sections in the license of the
combined work.


A compilation of the Manual or its derivatives with other separate and
independent documents or works, in or on a volume of a storage or
distribution medium, does not as a whole count as a Modified Version
of the Manual, provided no compilation copyright is claimed for the
compilation.  In such a case, this license does not apply to the other
self-contained works thus compiled with the Manual, if they are not
derivative works of the Manual.


Translation is considered a kind of modification, so you can
distribute translations of the manual under the terms of section 4.
This implies that translation of the Invariant Sections requires
special permission from their copyright holders.  You may include a
translation of this license provided that you also include this
license in the original English version.  In case of a disagreement
between the translation and the English version of this license, the
English version will prevail.


You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Manual
except as expressly provided under this License.  Any attempt
otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Manual is
void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.
However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under
this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
parties remain in full compliance.

9. ADDENDUM: How to use this license for your manuals

To use this license in a manual you have written, put the following
notice on the page after the title page:

      Copyright (c)  YEAR  YOUR NAME.
      Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this
      manual under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License,
      Version 1.0 or any later version published by the Free Software
      Foundation, with the Invariant Sections being LIST THEIR TITLES,
      Front-Cover Texts being LIST, and Back-Cover Texts being LIST.
      A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
      Free Documentation License"

If you have no Invariant Sections, write "with no Invariant Sections"
instead.  If you have no Front-Cover Texts, write "no Front-Cover Texts"
instead of "Front-Cover Texts being LIST".  Likewise for Back-Cover Texts.

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