xLFS Book Licenses

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at gmail.com
Mon Aug 21 21:13:11 PDT 2006


Currently, LFS ticket 1765,
http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/ticket/1765, suggests that LFS use
the licenses that are currently in the BLFS book.  Jim, Ryan, and I have
had some off-line conversations about this and feel it is time to open
up this discussion to the community.

Currently, LFS, HLFS, and Cross-LFS have the same license.  This license
is "home grown" and has not been vetted by anyone knowledgeable in the
law.  BLFS went to a dual license format some time ago using a Creative
Commons License,
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/cvs/appendices/creat-comm.html,
for the book while simultaneously providing a Academic Free License,
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/cvs/appendices/ac-free-lic.html,
for the code.

Jim has pointed out that there are problems with the CC:

http://people.debian.org/~evan/ccsummary
http://www.satn.org/archive/2003_04_27_archive.html
http://zesty.ca/cc.html

He and Ryan are proposing the Open Publication License,
http://www.opencontent.org/openpub, for all the books.  I've looked at
it and it seems to meet the standards of having a recognized license and
protecting the books.  If it is the community's decision, I have no
problem with using this in BLFS.  It is used by several organizations
including:

Linux Gazzette http://linuxgazette.net/copying.html
Debian http://www.debian.org/opl
FedoraMobile http://fedoramobile.org/open-publication-license
Gimp Savvy Book - http://slashdot.org/articles/00/03/12/2358211.shtml
LinuxLab - http://linuxlab.dk/license/opl
O'Reilly

In addition to the main license, I also feel that the books should dual
license the code (scripts and config files) in the the books with a very
open license such as the AFL currently in BLFS or a BSD type of license.
 The reason is to basically leave the instructions unencumbered.  For
instance, IMO, the output of jhalfs should not have the requirements of
the OPL, but with only one license there would be unnecessary overhead
if the instructions are extracted from the books.

Ryan suggested the GPL for the code, but that has a lot of overhead that
I don't feel is necessary.  For instance, there would be a need to put
relatively long GPL statements in each file in the bootscripts and the
need to include extra copyright files with the jhalfs output.

A general list of Open Source licenses can be found at
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/


What is the community opinion?

  -- Bruce



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