Subject: [ Re: [ #53989] [ Re: indy audio]]
To: Steve Rumble <>
From: Martijn Bakker <>
List: port-sgimips
Date: 07/16/2003 22:30:23
(Cc: to Ladislav Michl, who is the author of the current HAL2 driver, and Ulf
 Carlsson who appeared to start writing it in the first place - thanks guys!)


This is the official answer from the guys at the FSF about documentation made
up from GPL'ed source.

Ofcourse, I think it's polite to ask the authors first. Maybe they will even
let you reuse some of the code they wrote.

The source can be found in the linux mainstream 2.4 kernel source, in

Hope this helps!

grtz, Martijn

--- Forwarded message from FSF General Contact Address via RT <> ---

Subject: Re: [ #53989] [ Re: indy audio]
From: "FSF General Contact Address via RT" <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 15:10:12 -0400

Dear Martijn,

The answers to your questions depend upon the specific content of the
documentation and programs being created.

If you are simply viewing the source of a program released under the GNU
General Public License, and documenting how it works, then no licensing
obligations will be placed upon the manual.  Facts are not copyrightable,
and as such, the GNU GPL cannot control what you do with facts obtained
from material released under its terms.

However, if you copy portions of the program into the documentation beyond
what fair use (or similar legal concepts, if they exist, in countries other
than the United States) would allow, then that work is based on the
original GPL'ed software.  As a result, you must follow the GNU GPL's terms
for modification and distribution of your work: see section 2 of the
license in particular.

The situation is similar for any programs created from the documentation.
If they only use facts gleaned from it, no restrictions are placed on its
license.  If the software is based on the documentation in some form, then
it must follow the original work's terms for creating modified versions.

I hope this answers your question.  Please mail <> with
any other license-related concerns; they are dedicated to answering such
inquiries.  Please note that this is not legal advice.  If you need legal
advice, please consult a lawyer.

Best regards,

Brett Smith, Free Software Foundation
Become a card-carrying member of FSF:
Help support our work for FSF and the GNU project:

----- End forwarded message -----