Copyright of the desktop configuration specification (careful, here be dragons)

Lauri Watts lauri at
Tue Oct 4 20:41:32 EEST 2005

On Tuesday 04 October 2005 19.03, C. Gatzemeier wrote:
> Hi all,
> IANAL, I understand the GFDL has controversal issues
> but also see some uses for carefuly applied invariant sections that should
> not prevent forking, like the list of conributors, or see below.

This license is not nearly so controversial as it seems.  While the suggested 
text for the license notice includes mention of invariant sections and 
front/back cover texts (and those are in fact not what most people think they 
are in any case), it is only an example.

If you want to use the GFDL (and it's a good license, it takes care of the 
special needs of writers quite nicely) then you might simply use a version of 
the license notice that is unequivocal:

"Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under 
the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later 
version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant 
Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of 
the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation 

This is the version we have been happily using for KDE docs for 5 odd years 
now, and other than the occasional debian user (note, never developer, 
lawyer, or other informed party) who writes to me in a snit, is easily 
mollified by the explanation that the objectionable bits are outlawed from 
inclusion by the very license notice in use.  

Drop the "or any later" if you want, it is optional.  It's also usually 
acceptable to state that a copy of the license is provided with the source 
package, if you don't want to included it in the doc, which may be the case 
for a shorter one.

Lauri Watts
KDE Documentation:
KDE on FreeBSD:

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