Re: Automatic Legalese Generator?

Kenny Graunke <> writes:

> I have a suggestion for the new help system - automatic legal blurb adding.
> Right now, we have to manually put an FDL blurb in every doc. Wouldn't it
> be easier to have this done automatically? Then, if the blurb needs to
> change someday, you can update it in one place, instead of in every doc.

Does anyone know what the legal implications of this would be?  It
seems to me that if you don't actually include the text of the license
blurb with the document, just a reference to it in another file
distributed separately, then there's no reliable indication of the
license in the document itself.

How can you prove that the file you refer to is meant to contain the
correct blurb, and not (say) a license that says "the author hereby
gives permission for NonFreeBookCorp Publishers inc. to release a
modified version of this text under a non-free license"?  I guess in a
hypothetical court case it might be decided that in the absence of any
other license, normal Berne Convention (I think) copyright laws apply
and the author has full control.

Maybe a comment in the SGML to the effect of "This document is
distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License, available at
(URL...)" would be sufficient.  Anyone know?

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Andy Smith                                   
St John's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TP                   (07989) 453208
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