Documentation Licensing

Matthew P. Barnson matthew at
Wed May 5 16:46:48 UTC 2004

As the author of the Bugzilla Guide, I should probably chime in here :)

At the time I wrote the Guide, Creative Commons licenses did not exist.
Well, perhaps it existed, but I was not aware of them.  The reason I
chose GFDL was because, at the time and based on the advice of a lawyer I
know and trust, "code" licenses (such as the MPL) didn't apply well to
text documentation.  I am not averse to changing the license to something
more free than the GFDL; when I licensed the doc under the GFDL, although
some developers questioned the judgement of using any GNU license, it
seemed an appropriate way to make sure the documentation remained free,
while maintaining attribution, copyright, etc.

However, there is one provision of the GFDL not being met that, while not
wanting to be a jerk about it, I'd prefer Bugzilla adhere to: leaving my
copyright intact.  Right now, by removing my copyright (haven't looked in
the CVS log to see who did it) and my name from the principal author list,
Bugzilla's in violation of the GFDL.  I have a few doc patches that I
really need to check in, and, if nobody objects, I'll remedy this in my
next checkin.  I realize that I haven't contributed meaningfully in quite
some time, but I was still the author, and the GFDL requires author and
copyright notices be added to, not removed.

But that's a side issue from the question; I apologize for bringing it up,
but it's bugged me for several months :)

I think that the only developers from whom we'll need to obtain consent to
change the copyright are JustDave, Jake (can we do that with him on-duty?),
Zach Lipton, and myself.  

I'll check out some Creative Commons licenses.  I think their
attribution-required license wil probably fit the bill.

Matthew P. Barnson
- - - -
Thought for the moment:
In a medium in which a News Piece takes a minute and an "In-Depth"
Piece takes two minutes, the Simple will drive out the Complex.
		-- Frank Mankiewicz

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