[License-discuss] licenses and software in books

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Thu Sep 6 22:12:09 UTC 2012

So, I have 24 titles in my old book series that have mostly dealt with 
this issue.

Conveying the license text in print form is not an odious requirement. 
There are 200 to 400 pages of tutorial material, to dedicate two to a 
small-print rendition of GPL is no hardship.

Nobody ever requested the source code on a CD. Where appropriate, it was 
available for download. If anyone tries to contest that download is not 
an appropriate medium under the terms GPL2, they are doing it to be 
difficult, not to get the source. We would have had the means to deal 
with such a person.

In general, all parties went to the project (for example, Samba) for the 
source code.

A book isn't a computer program. While we could fulfill the GPL terms 
easily enough, we could have also made a case that the program 
inclusions in the book were quotations in a critical work, and should 
have been handled as such.

We had no power to issue waivers, since we weren't the copyright holder 
of the software.



On 09/06/2012 02:55 PM, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting John Cowan (cowan at mercury.ccil.org):
>> 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.
> Emphasis added:
> _Um, hello?  Waiver._
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