Is Bazaar's document distributed under GPL?

Ben Finney ben+bazaar at
Mon Sep 21 08:55:39 BST 2009

David Muir <davidkmuir at> writes:

> Robert Collins wrote:
> > On Mon, 2009-09-21 at 14:26 +1000, Ian Clatworthy wrote:
> >   
> >> My main concern is ensuring we don't unnecessarily restrict authors
> >> from creating training materials. Someone working at company X
> >> should be able to produce slides and tutorials with examples from
> >> the Bazaar docs, without worrying about whether inclusion of those
> >> examples makes those documents implicitly GPL.

I think the same reasons for choosing the GPL on the rest of the work
applies: that all recipients of derivative works should have the same
freedoms as were granted to the distributor.

That doesn't change just because the intended use of the work is
different. See the writings of Larry Lessig and Eben Moglen for more on
why the copyright holder's intended use of a work should not limit
freedoms of the recipients of that work.

> > They then need to do, as binary distributors do, and provide the
> > source.
> >
> > That seems entirely reasonable to me, given that bzr itself is
> > copyleft.


> Except that in many cases, company X would not want to, or cannot
> provide the source for their training material (i.e. material may
> contain copyrighted works that cannot be re-licensed as GPL)

We don't bend license terms to the will of an entity that wants to
create a derived work and redistribute it as an executable program under
terms more restrictive than the GPL; why should we change that when the
entity instead wants to redistribute the work as training material?

If you're arguing that recipients of software intended for use as
training material somewhow deserve fewer freedoms in the work than
recipients of software intended for use as programs, I disagree
completely: I think the same software freedoms should be guaranteed to
those recipients regardless of the intended uses of the work. Hence, I
think the GPL is a good choice for the license terms of the whole work.

 \          “If I ever get real rich, I hope I'm not real mean to poor |
  `\                              people, like I am now.” —Jack Handey |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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