DRAFT FAQ: Free vs. Open

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Fri Jan 11 05:09:38 UTC 2008

Philippe Verdy wrote:

> by providing only an extract of it without also giving the full
> text (it may have happened in some discussion mails or negociations, but not
> in the deliverable products).

Quoting a section to discuss it is fair use, and not a problem.  Yes, I
know there's no fair use in France, but the FSF still isn't going to sue
 you for it.

> But I've seen many GPL software packages coming without the final advisory
> instructions ("How to...").

These are not part of the license; they are after the "END OF TERMS AND
CONDITIONS".  In most situations, the instructions should not be
included, but it isn't a problem if they are.

 The "verbatim" word means that no change is
> allowed in the text, but does not clearly state what parts of the text are
> mandatory, because the most visible delimitations (in all capitals) are
> stating such delimitation of the mandatory section.

I don't see what you're saying.  I think it's fairly obvious that the
entire license should be included; this starts with "GNU GENERAL PUBLIC

> This reduction of the GPL text to only its central mandatory part is
> seen in some packages or bundles that are aggregating lots of licences
> packed into a single "licences.txt" file, instead of many separate files;

There is no mandatory vs. non-mandatory part of the license.  The whole
license is mandatory, and everything except the instructions is part of
the license.

Matt Flaschen

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