OSL 1.1 treatment of documentation

Bruce Dodson bruce_dodson at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 31 05:29:44 UTC 2002

(Larry said...)
> Not if it ain't a Derivative Work, I'd say.
> ...
> What do you think?

I think the same.  Common sense tells me that a book that isn't a derivative
work should be outside the scope of the contract.  This concept is probably
non-technical enough that even a judge would be able to grasp it.

(Forrest said...)
> Seems to me by the OSL paragraph 3, a book publisher
> is compelled to include a machine-readable copy of their
> book if they provide a copy of the Original work.

Common sense also tells me including the software on a CD in the back cover
of a book doesn't make the book a derivative work - it just makes the book a
distribution medium of sorts.

Larry: Although common sense seems to lead to the right answers, it is true
that the wording is cumbersome.  Maybe the problem is that it's hard to
define which documentation you mean without creating a self-referencing
definition for Source Code.  Then perhaps it would be easier to make this
clear if you defined two terms, so the Technical Documentation is not part
of the Source Code, but must also be included.  That could look something
like this:

The term "Source Code" means the preferred form of the Original Work for
making modifications to it.  The term "Technical Documentation" means all
available documentation describing how to access and modify the Source Code.
Licensor hereby agrees to provide a machine-readable copy of the Source Code
and Technical Documentation along with each copy of the Original Work that
Licensor distributes. Licensor reserves the right to satisfy this obligation
by placing a machine-readable copy of the Source Code and Technical
Documentation in an information repository reasonably calculated to permit
inexpensive and convenient access by You for as long as Licensor continues
to distribute the Original Work, and by publishing the address of that
information repository in a notice immediately following the copyright
notice that applies to the Original Work.

(Hey, it's just a thought.  I ain't no lawyer.)
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