[License-discuss] plain text license versions?

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Thu Sep 6 22:06:36 UTC 2012

On Thu, Sep 06, 2012 at 05:45:00PM -0400, John Cowan wrote:
> Rick Moen scripsit:
> > Years ago, I reminded readers on this mailing list that possibly useful
> > reciprocal licences for non-software use by people disliking GFDL
> > include GPLv2, and that FSF even published a piece explaining the
> > advantages before they fell in love with GFDL:
> The difficulty is that text often winds up in printed books, and then
> you either have to distribute a CD with the book containing the editable
> source, or be prepared to issue such CDs for no more than the cost of
> distributing them.   Both are expensive and awkward activities, and
> neither is well-supported by the printed-book sales channels that exist.

That assumes that the printed text is not "source code" in the sense
meant in sections 1 and 2 of GPLv2 but is instead "object code or
executable form" (section 3). I believe the better interpretation of
GPLv2 is that text in a printed book is "source code ... in any
medium" (the particular medium being printed text); thus you never
reach section 3.

 - RF

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