GNU Free Documentation License
Background and CriticismThe GNU Free Documentation License (GNU FDL) is a "Copyleft" license for free content, designed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for the GNU Project. The official text of the license can be found here. The license was designed for software documentation and other reference and instructional materials, and like other FSF licenses, once used, a provider is stuck with it - meaning the license is "viral" - it stipulates that any copy of the material, even if modified, must carry the same license. Copies may be sold, but if produced in quantity, must be made available in a format which facilitates further editing (which effectively restricts distribution, as well).
Specifically, the authors of prior versions have to be acknowledged and certain "invariant sections" specified by the original author(s), and dealing with such relationships 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. For a document to be covered by the GNU FDL, one must include a specific copyright and license notice.
Some content adapted from the Wikinfo article "GNU Free Documentation License" under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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