3

I would like to modify a document under the GNU Free Documentation License. From the wikipedia page I can read:

  • All previous authors of the work must be attributed.
  • All changes to the work must be logged.
  • All derivative works must be licensed under the same license.
  • The full text of the license, unmodified invariant sections as defined by the author if any, and any other added warranty disclaimers (such as a general disclaimer alerting readers that the document may not be accurate for example) and copyright notices from previous versions must be maintained.
  • Technical measures such as DRM may not be used to control or obstruct distribution or editing of the document.

I don't understand the first point. If I modify the content and change a lot of it. The initial owner would not be happy to be cited as the owner.

How should I attribute John Doe, the initial owner and Me the subsequent owner?

6

Note the requirement that:

copyright notices from previous versions must be maintained.

This is the usual method of attributing previous authors. The copyright section might now read something like

(c) 2018-2019 John Doe
(c) 2019 A. Nowox

You also note that:

If I modify the content and change a lot of it. The initial owner would not be happy to be cited as the owner.

That might be true, but you're not excused from a licensing requirement because of a belief that someone else might not want it, however sincerely it's held. Note the other requirement that:

All changes to the work must be logged.

which is designed to allow any third-party to quickly establish how much of John Doe's work you have changed. That should put to bed any fears you might be entertaining that Mr. Doe will be upset that you are in some way misrepresenting him as having written what you, in fact, wrote.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.