Documentation licenses revisited

David Johnson david at
Mon Mar 19 00:23:45 UTC 2001

A while ago you may recall that I inquired as to free and open licenses for 
documentation. I chose the FDL at that time since the document in question 
was for software covered by the GPL.

I am now creating a roleplaying game with some other people that needs a free 
and open license. It may be some months before it is released.

I have come up with a simple documentation license based on the BSD license. 
I realize that the OSI is not in the business of approving non-software 
licenses, but I am submitting it to the list to garner comments and 

Why not the FDL or another free documentation license? I desire a 
non-copyleft license for a variety of reasons, but probably the greatest 
reason is that I want a short and simple license.

Why no "invariant" clauses? I thought long and hard about this one, but it 
turns out that the only invariant sections I actually want are the copyright, 
license and disclaimer. 

I'm not sure about the disclaimer. It seemed odd to me to include the 
standard warranty disclaimer. My rationale for the current disclaimer is to 
guarantee that that full attribution is attached, and the lack of any 
responsibility for derived works.

Here it is in "templatized" form...

Lore Document License
Copyright (c) [year], [author]

Redistribution, publication and use of this Document, with or without 
modification, alteration or translation, is permitted provided that the 
following conditions are met:

(1) Redistributions or publications of this Document must retain the above 
copyright notice, this list of conditions, and the following disclaimer.

(2) Neither the name of the copyright holders nor the names of any 
contributors to the Document may be used to endorse or promote products 
derived from this Document without specific prior written permission.

This work is a copy of, or based on a copy of, [title], copyright © [year] by 
[author]. Distribution of, or derivation from, [title] in no way implies 
endorsement or warranty by [author].

David Johnson

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