Documentation Licensing

Zach Lipton zach at
Wed May 5 06:15:07 UTC 2004

Based on reading the Debian position paper on the GFDL, I'm inclined to 
say we should relicense, to keep the docs in Debian and to avoid the 
issues with the existing license.

It wouldn't be very difficult to relicense, as there are only a few 
contributors and most are regularly involved with the project (my 
current lack of productivity nonwithstanding :).

I agree however that any license used needs to leave open the 
possibility of incorporating the material into a book at some point in 
the future. Since the guide is already a part of the LDP, the LDP 
Copying License might be a good choice.


On Mon, 3 May 2004 7:50pm, David Miller wrote:
> The Bugzilla Guide is currently licensed under the GNU Free 
> Documentation License (henceforth referred to as "GFDL").
> I've recently discovered some interesting tidbits about the GFDL, 
> particularly several of the restrictions it imposes on the document 
> which make it not exactly "Free" (as in speech).  When I tried to track 
> down more information on these things I'd been hearing, the best 
> summary of the issues I found is a position statement from Debian, 
> declaring why they don't consider that license to be Free.
> Here's Debian's position on it:
> Doing some more reading, you will discover that recent changes to the 
> Debian Constitution also mean that the GFDL is now on the "banned 
> licenses" list for Debian, meaning anything using that license will no 
> longer be allowed to be distributed by Debian (and probably not by 
> several other distros that are based on Debian either).
> This means people getting Bugzilla from Debian (or derivatives) will no 
> longer get a copy of the Bugzilla documentation with it.
> I don't consider Debian to be the end-all and be-all of what's Free 
> (I'm sure lots of people know how radical they've been known to be at 
> times ;) ) however, I do happen to agree with them on this issue, after 
> reading through the license myself.
> Anyone have any opinions on this?  Should we make an attempt to 
> relicense the Bugzilla Guide?  My personal opinion is that the 
> documentation for Bugzilla shouldn't be any less free than Bugzilla 
> itself is.
> I am open to suggestions as to possible new licenses.  I note that the 
> Mozilla Documentation is currently not licensed, and they have a 
> discussion underway to come up with a license to use for theirs.  Among 
> the candidates listed on their page are the Open Publications License 
> and the LDP Copying License.  There's no reason we need to do the same 
> thing Mozilla does, however.
> Maybe we don't even need to change it.  But I'd like to open the 
> discussion on it at least.
> --
> Dave Miller      Project Leader, Bugzilla Bug Tracking System
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