Re: GFDL in the kernel tree

From: Christoph Hellwig (
Date: Sun Jun 15 2003 - 12:10:20 EST

On Sun, Jun 15, 2003 at 09:05:26AM -0700, David Brownell wrote:
> Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> > 2.5.71 introduces two GFDL-licensed files in the kernel tree...
> A "grep" in Documentation/DocBook shows me three GFDL files,
> last time I grepped there were none. So I was aware that
> adding one would likely raise some issues ... evidently
> a variety of people have noticed that GPL for docs/specs
> isn't the best solution.

My preferred license for documentation is 2clause BSD because
some of the GPL legalese is strange for docs at least..

But GFDL really is a horrible license.

> But there's a potential issue for kerneldoc for one particular
> structure, "usb_ctrlrequest", which was merged into 2.5 from a
> patch on 2/2/2002 ... I think I know who contributed that patch.
> If that author isn't willing to let that text be covered by
> GFDL, and for some reason I can't replace it with similar text
> that is (mostly pointing to the USB spec for details), I'll pull
> that bit out. In short: This particular issue is fixable.

Well, it is fixable but it's the best example of why am incompatible
documentation license is evil.

> Only when those sections are used. Which none of those three
> files do; all that doc is Free (GPL-compatible) by Debian terms.
> (Modulo minor issues to be worked.)

debian-legacl had more issue, may they be minor or not. The
biggest problem with the GFDL in the free software context is
it's GPL incompatiblity.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Jun 15 2003 - 22:00:42 EST