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 Search Beat > Search Beat GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL)


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The GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) is a copyleft license for open content, designed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for the GNU project. The official text of version 1.1 of the license text can be found at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html. The license is designed for software documentation and other reference and instructional materials. It stipulates that any copy of the material, even if modified, carry the same license. Those copies may be sold but, if produced in quantity, have to be made available in a format which facilitates further editing. Wikipedia is the largest documentation project to use this license. Secondary Sections The license explicitly separates the "Document" from "Secondary Sections", which may not be integrated with the Document, but exist as front-matter materials or appendices. Secondary sections can contain information regarding the author's or publisher's relationship to the subject matter, but not any subject matter itself. While the Document itself is wholly editable, and is essentially covered by a license equivalent to the GNU GPL, some of the secondary sections have various restrictions designed primarily to deal with proper attribution to previous authors. Specifically, the authors of prior versions have to be acknowledged and certain "invariant sections" specified by the original author and dealing with his or her relationship to the subject matter may not be changed. If the material is modified, its title has to be changed (unless the prior authors give permission to retain the title). The license also has provisions for the handling of front-cover and back-cover texts of books, as well as for "History", "Acknowledgements", "Dedications" and "Endorsements" sections. Using the GFDL For a document to be covered by the GFDL, one must include a specific copyright and license notice.

 

 





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